BY ARAMATA JATTA
Nominated member Hon. Ya Kumba Jaiteh debating on the merit and principles of the Bill on the Discriminatory against Women said we would like for it to be extended to a year or even 9 months.”
She called for an enlightenment for the members why the six months Hon. Jaiteh alluded that “this is because women are advise now to exclusively breastfeed the first 6months of a child’s life and if you are exclusively breastfeeding that means you cannot be away from your child for a long period of time this is necessary as 75℅ of the brain development occurs from consecution to 2years”.
She further went on to say “It would have been great if we would have a maternity leave that will cover the first 2years of the child’s life so that women can be encouraged to breastfeed as it has direct impact on the GDP of the Nation because if you have children who are well nourish it erases the issue of malnutrition which is another additional as to why this bill is quite very important”.
She implored on Come up with an amendment bill that will cover for women representatives in Parliament in the Executive during the period of maternity.
Urging the Minister to also consider an amendment whereby after every 6 months, if the woman wants to continue breastfeed after that six months. She said it’s quiet important if we want to see development and the have creative minds describing breastfeeding is the key to that..
The Act seeks to review and repeal the provisions of the Labour Act found to be discriminatory against women and girls in The Gambia in furtherance of The Gambia’s international obligations and in line with the Constitution and for connected matters has on Tuesday been referred for committal to the Assembly Business Committee
This Committal was made following the second the second reading of the labour amendment Bill which was tabled by the newly appointed Attorney General and Minister of Justice Hon. Jallow.
Replacement is (1) Every woman is entitled to a period of six months maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefit without loss of employment, seniority or similar benefits, and (2) In order to reinforce the common responsibility of men and women in the upbringing and development of their children, every father is entitled to a reasonable period in time not exceeding ten working days as paternity leave with pay.”
Member for Basse Hon. Muhammed Magassy assert that “the private sector contribute a lot in the creation of employment and the employees are men and women which are indispensable for the running of the company”.
According to him the sensitization emphasis the employment of more women into different sectors in other to answerer to gender sensitivity and gender balance.
He concluded that “In a situation where 2 or 3 women holding key positions happen to fall in this situation 6months away from the working place it will be very difficult for that company to comply with this laws, so therefore there is a need to review the frequency, by putting in control mechanism.
Member for Upper Saloum Hon. Alajie Mboow said “if you look at the timing of when the woman can actually go on leave on the 6months, the timing most be left in the hands of the women not the government or the company they work for”.
He lamented that biological changes happen when women conceive while some are confronted with health issues, citing that some of them suffer in the first 3months whilst some towards the end of their pregnancy.
Adding that “they really need medical attention at a time like that so you cannot just say when they are pregnant they should go on at a particular date, let them to decide on their own”.
Meanwhile the bill has been referred to the Assembly business committee for committal to either committee or committees of the whole assembly in accordance with standing order clause 68 sub clause 1.