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Why Fathers Needing Paternity Leaves Is Not A Myth, But A Necessity

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By Kathakali Banerjee:

“It is the mother who takes all the pains of childbirth. She should be the one taking care and catering to the baby’s needs after it is born. What does a father have to do in it?”

That was a common notion until Sweden woke up to fight against it in 1974, emerging as the first nation to introduce the concept of paternity leave (paid or unpaid leave granted to a male employee when his child is born) to allow the fathers to get accustomed to their newly acquired designation.

Indian father new born

Our beloved country took twenty five long years to understand its necessity and in 1999, paternity leave was finally made legal by the Central Government by notification under Central Civil Services (Leave) Rule 551 (A). While it is applicable to all Central Government employees and some State Government employees as well, a fairly large portion of private firms are still toying with the idea of implementing it.

The Central Government allows 15 days leave before or within 6 months from the date of delivery of the child. If the leave is not availed within the sanctioned period, it shall be considered as lapsed. The father shall be paid leave salary equal to the pay last drawn immediately before proceeding on leave. The same rule applies when a child is adopted. Unfortunately, there is no law that forces the private sector to consider it as mandatory.

Corporate Scheme – A Brief Overview

We acknowledge modern man’s understanding of a father’s role during childbirth in contemporary times, yet there is no standard policy on paternity leave in private organisations.

Several corporate biggies in India consider it as a luxury, and despite Government’s sanction, they refuse to inscribe any terms of paternity leave in their employee contracts.

Infosys offers 5 days and NIIT offers 7 days paid leave, which can be availed for a maximum of 2 children. Companies like Wipro and Biocon are too obdurate to grant any leave to their employees. However, a handful of companies like Microsoft and Cisco Systems do allow a 2 weeks leave for their employees.

Considering the countries, USA is the only highly progressive and developed country that considers such leave as pure luxury and never bothers to grant one, it is impressively followed by Germany.

Fathers’ Presence Is Obligatory – A Myth Or A Reality?

We rarely consider psychological connotations of a situation, nor do we imagine any long term consequences. If we do a little thinking, then we might be able to decipher the fact that allowing fathers to spend time with his child and his wife during their most cherished occurences will make him a father in the long run, and not just any money-making machine.

Many broken families’ children often say, “If I had a father, we could have been more financially sound.” Is that all? Is that the only thing he/she misses about the father? Well, we cannot blame the children. We need to blame the system. A father too can play with his children, cuddle them and make them feel the warmth of their relationship, if given an opportunity. If a child is forced to witness a father leaving home early morning and returning back completely exhausted only to fall asleep, we cannot really blame the child if he/she calls him a money provider. Paternity leave gives men an opportunity to develop a stronger bond with the child from birth and also with the wife, who gets to have a husband around. This is extremely essential for an all round development of the family and maintaining its healthy partnership.

The period enables the husband-wife to understand the changes in their lives as a couple, and as parents. The greatest example is Sweden, where this initiative has brought in excellent response. Divorce and separation have decreased in Sweden, while it has increased throughout the world.

Many psychologists as well as sexologists say that having the fathers-to-be in the labour room is more beneficial and logical than keeping the new mother with a swarm of women huddled around. Being a father is a huge responsibility, and paternity leave allows the father to realize its worth. A husband might need to take his pregnant wife for yoga classes and a father will have to change the diaper and cuddle with his newborn. It is all part of an all round physical and emotional development.

We are progressing well with science, technology and awareness. Then why is it that we fail to break certain taboos that have been illogically surviving since time unknown? If people are made aware, and they start considering a company without a leave procedure as backdated and conservative, companies will soon be forced into accepting the process.

Its high time for us to discuss the notion of it being a myth, accept it as reality and break away from such conservative social taboos!

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  1. Babar

    Yet another feminist dictating how men should live their lives with one lie after another.

    Many broken families’ children often say, “If I had a father, we could have been more financially sound.”

    Blatant lie. Children in broken families wish that their mother was at home to care for them, instead of being in the workforce to prove her independence and self-worth, having dumped them with in-laws, babysitters, domestic help, nannies, and in day care centers, after having been brainwashed with feminist theories linking work outside the home as liberating and inside the home as degrading.

    If a child is forced to witness a father leaving home early morning and returning back completely exhausted only to fall asleep…

    Another lie. No one returns home to sleep. Most men return in the afternoon, while even the ones working long hours are home by around 5-6 pm.

    Being a father is a huge responsibility, and paternity leave allows the father to realize its worth.

    Thanks for telling us, we didn’t know that fatherhood is a huge responsibility. The irony is, women who despise homemaking, who aren’t there for their children because they are too busy working are now going to give us parenting lessons. Men realize what fatherhood is without any leaves, women don’t realize motherhood with them.

    1. Babar

      Divorce and separation have decreased in Sweden, while it has increased throughout the world.

      Yet another lie.

    2. D Gill

      Babar, we see you commenting endlessly on the same topic. So do tell, what is your version of a utopic society? Also your comments discredit your points. “Men realize what fatherhood is without any leaves, women don’t realize motherhood with them.” < Here you are generalizing that all men are good responsible fathers and all women are irresponsible mothers".

      Also, children from broken homes wish their mother was at home to take care of them?? Babar, as you said most people come home from work around 5 or 6. Children start school when they are 5 sometimes 4 years old. So do tell, if the child is at school all day, in what way shape or form does this affect the child negatively? I do agree that a parent should be home full time from the ages of birth to 4 if financially feasible but beyond that is needless. So what is your point? That the child is neglected if left with another family member or family friend between the hours of 2pm and 5pm??

    3. Fem

      Babar is useless. Its been proved time and again. We can just hope that he doesn’t breed (also hope no female have the bad fortune to suffer him for any length of time). He would just push his negativity through his kids.

      People who work late hours come home by 5-6!! Wonder where does this person stay? Most probably he sits in front of comp all day long lashing out on women in general and do not have slightest of idea how the world functions.

      His arguments are so absurd that it has now stopped annoying me even.

  2. Templetwins

    I too wish that paternity leaves are considered as important in our society and we as a society should give men the time to bond with their children. That aside there is a common notion that Sweden is one of the countries where men are women are treated equally. It is a blatant lie. When you are done reading this long comment you would know why Julian Assange has said that Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism.

    Lets see some of the laws in Sweden and how men are treated as second class citizens.

    Social services act shall give special consideration to women who are, or have been victims of violence or other abuse by people close to them and may be in need of support and help change their situation.

    So, what this means is that male victims of domestic violence and abuse are a (priori ) deemed as being unworthy of protection, help and support, regardless of whether they might indeed be in dire need of assistance. Remember: This is the law in Sweden!

    Chapter 1. Fatherhood and motherhood for children

    1 § If at childbirth the mother is married to a man, he shall be regarded as the child’s father, unless other facts applies from § 2. The same applies if the mother is a widow and the child is born within such time after the death of the child to have been conceived before. Act (2009:254).
    If the husband Approves in writing another man’s acknowledgment of paternity, with the provisions of § 4, shall thus be concluded that the husband is not the child’s father. Confirmation, however in this case must always be approved in writing by the mother. Act (1990:1526).
    4 § Acknowledgement of paternity shall be in writing and shall be witnessed by two people. The confirmation shall be approved in writing by the family court and by the mother or a specially appointed guardian for the child. If the child is of age, or is it under Chapter 6. § 2 is not in anyone’s custody, the confirmation shall instead be authorized by the child itself.

    So, what this means is that a woman automatically becomes a mother and a custodian for the child or children resulted from birth, whilst a man becomes a father and a custodian only if the mother approves it.

    Basically, from a judicial point of view, in Sweden, children literally belong to women and the state.

    The same goes with citizenship. The law says the followings:

    Acquisition of Swedish citizenship at birth
    1 § A child acquires Swedish citizenship at birth, if

    1st – The mother is a Swedish citizen,
    2nd – father is a Swedish citizen and the child is born in Sweden,
    3rd – father is a Swedish citizen and married to the child’s mother,
    4th – father is deceased but at his death was a Swedish citizen and the child is born in Sweden, or
    5th – father is deceased but at his death was a Swedish citizen and married to the child’s mother.

    This means that if a woman gives birth abroad, the child is automatically Swedish. But if a Swedish man has a child abroad, he has to be married with the child’s mother and his marriage be recognized by the Swedish state in order for the child to enjoy the rights of being a Swedish citizen.

    This is basically state enforced matrilineal lineage. Not even the State of Israel has a law like this (or at least didn’t have).

    Things get worse when we read Brottsbalk[4], which is the Swedish Criminal Code:

    If the acts described in the first paragraph are committed by a man against a woman with whom he is, or has been, married or with whom he resides, or has resided with in a marriage-like relationship, shall be supplementary sentenced for gross violations of women’s peace for the same act.

    And yes, the Swedes have a ‘women’s peace’ law. Do they have an equivalent ‘men’s peace’ law? Or a broadened ‘people’s peace’ law? Of course they don’t, because women are the only people worthy of rights and protection in Sweden.

    Corollary of this article of the Criminal Code and the fact that you, as a man, cannot and will not be a father unless the woman approves it – you can basically be sent to prison up to 6 years for the simple fact that you wanted to have a phone conversation with your own child. This, in judicial terms, means ‘gross violation of women’s peace’. That is Sweden!

    Let’s take a look on another two laws regarding body searches: Act on shipping protection

    Body search of the woman must be performed and witnessed only by another woman, if the investigation is not done through the metal detector or similar device. Body searches which are limited to the object that a woman carries with her may be conducted and witnessed by a man.

    Body searches or body examination of a woman cannot be performed or witnessed by anyone other than a woman, a doctor or a registered nurse. The following actions may be executed and witnessed by a man, namely,

    1 body search referred to in § 2, third paragraph, and
    2 body search that occurs with metal detector or similar technical device.

    In other words, men can be subjected to humiliating strip searches by women whilst the other way around is illegal.

    The law that sets the terms for those that have to come and testify in court. The law reads as follows:

    7 § When questioning witnesses a citizen witness support person should be engaged by the Act (1981:324) on citizens witness support, if such is available.

    When questioning a woman, a female interrogation witness must be hired, if the detainee requests it and it can conveniently be done.

    In other words, when a woman has to testify in court, regardless if she’s a criminal testifying to lower her sentence or get away with it, she has the legal right to conduct gender discrimination in employment in order to accommodate her emotional needs on taxpayers’ money.

    The law that regulates child allowances:

    4 § A parent who has sole custody of a child has the right to collect general child support for the child. In cases of joint custody, the following applies. The right to collect child support allowance generally belongs to the parent who is registered as beneficiary. Notification shall be made to the Social Insurance by the parents jointly. If no such notification is made, the mother has the right to receive the amount

    What this means is that the father never has the right to get the state child allowance as long as the mother refuses to sign it over to him. This also applies in the cases when the father is the full time parent and the single custodian.

    In other words, this money belongs by law to the women that gave birth to children.

    Some other numbers in Sweden:

    80 percent of the homeless people are men;

    Men are two and half times more likely to commit suicide than women in Sweden. (a 25% larger suicide rate than Romania and USA and 50% larger than India)[15];

    There are roughly 5100 men in Swedish prisons and almost 300 women – which is the most disproportionate inmates number by gender in Europe and an obvious proof of leniency propensity on the behalf of the prosecutors and judges when it comes to female criminals;

    400,000 children (four hundred thousand in a 9.5 million overall population) hardly ever or never get to see their father.

    Despite this cruel reality, the Swedish press never stops complaining about how bad women have it in Sweden. Every single Swedish language newspaper and TV news gives more than half of the space to complaining about how bad it is to be a woman in Sweden.

    1. Monistaf

      @Templetwins, thanks for the details on Sweden. I too was surprised that the author “credits” Sweden for anything to do with family law. They have the most “one-sided” justice system in favor of women any where on earth and all that does is discourage men from committing to a long-term relationship with women. It is the country with the highest percentage of single households and the highest number of unmarried adults that has resulted in the breakdown of the family structure which is the basic building block and strength of the larger society. It is not exactly paradise in Sweden, as much as they would like to project it that way. Check out..

      And, thanks to unfair laws, the same trend continues in other western societies as well, including the United States.

      Dr. Helen Smith has even published a book, a best seller, called “Men on Strike” that clearly spells out why it no longer makes sense for men to get married, because most family law benefit women and children at the expense of men.

    2. Templetwins

      You’re welcome Monistaf. Yes, I’ve seen several interviews of Dr. Helen Smith. She’s awesome. I have the same views on the toxic nature of what it entails to be married. I’d say MGTOW all the way. Preach it brother!

    3. Hell Yeah

      “This is basically state enforced matrilineal lineage.”
      What’s the problem with that? Wouldn’t want your patrilineal privilege-giving status-quo to be rocked in a faraway nation?

    4. Templetwins

      I often say privileges comes with obligations. If you want to remove the privileges, then remove the obligations too.

      Children carry the fathers name is because of what I call as paternal promise. When a child is born it is for sure that she/he carries the moms DNA but it is more often a promise that it also carries the dads DNA ie a woman can commit paternity fraud for shes the one who can get pregnant.

      Secondly a father is expected to provide for both his wife and children even after separation, which is an obligation he is forced to do. The privilege of his name being carried by mother and children can be withdrawn if we could free him from the obligation to provide them. There, I gave you a solution for the paterlineal issue.

      As far as materilineal privilege no women ever have the same obligation as a man in countries where paterlineality is followed. So not an equal comparison per say and it reeks in female privilege since shes devoid of any financial obligations like men do.

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