Paternity Leave, 50% Women Pilots, Suggests Union Aviation Minister

India had passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill in 2017 to increase the maternity leave for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
Paternity Leave, 50% Women Pilots, Suggests Union Aviation Minister

Union aviation minister calls for more women pilots | REPRESENTATIVE

The Union minister for civil aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday said that airlines must consider giving male employees paternity leaves so that they can share the responsibility of bringing up a child.

Scindia also called for an increase in the share of women pilots in the country from 15 per cent to 50 per cent.

Notably, India had passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill in 2017 to increase the maternity leave for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.

While airlines in India adhere to the law and give paid maternity leaves to women, there are no similar policies in place for men.

The Union aviation minister during a speech at an event said, “I believe that our airlines are doing a tremendous job in terms of creating a healthy workplace environment for our women, whether it is creches, maternity leave and other structures.”

"I think we need to move beyond that," he added.

Scindia said that an environment has to be created which is not only gender neutral but which looks at an equal responsibility on men as well as women in terms of family environment.

He said, “A case in point is why we look at the concept of only maternity leave. We must also look at the concept of paternity leave where men must also partake in the responsibility of bringing up children at home.”

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He mentioned that a mental shift has to happen, adding that everyone must recognize the differences and re-imagine the fundamentals of ethics at the workplace.

"I really believe that equity is more important than equality. It is a much nuanced approach but I think the time has come to recognise it. It is not a fight for equality. It is a fight for equity," the aviation minister said.

Further addressing the low percentage of women as pilots in India, which stands at around 15 per cent, Scindia said, “Is 15 per cent good enough? My answer is flat no.”

"The reason is that the odds that you have overcome, the stereotypes you have surpassed, the pressure of performance you have endured have been extremely daunting. You have pierced every glass ceiling," he said.

Mentioning that India needed a shift in the paradigm, Scindia said that there must come a day in India that this 15 per cent reaches 50 per cent of the country’s pilot strength.

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