Emirati children gather between some 4,000 UAE flags at 'Flag Garden' on Kite beach as the country marks the 49th National Day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 02 December 2020. EFE/EPA/FILE/ALI HAIDER

Arab states support longer paternity leave, says UN

Cairo, Sep 25 (EFE).– A report by United Nations Women on Monday revealed that a large number of policy makers from Arab countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, support longer paternity leave and many even advocate making the duration equal to maternity leave.

“86 per cent of the decision makers surveyed for the research are in support of extending the duration of paternity leave in their countries,” UN Women said in a statement.

Moreover, it added that 62 percent of the decision makers believed that men’s involvement in childcare should be part of the national public agendas.

In both cases, support for the measure is greater among women than men, the statement said, adding that 55 percent of respondents from public institutions and 52 percent from the private sector are in favor of parental leave of equal duration for both parents.

The report was a result of a research by UN Women on the views on paternity leave and the involvement of men in childcare from 1,154 decision makers from governments, private sector and civil society organizations from five countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, namely Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

Susanne Mikhail Eldhagen, Regional Director of UN Women for the Arab States, underlined that the report offered practical recommendations to support legal and policy changes that promote men’s involvement in childcare, leading to not only increased well-being within families, but also an increase of family income.

The recommendations include raising public awareness of the benefits of men’s involvement in childcare, increasing childcare services and promoting gender equality, among others.

During the presentation of the report, UN Women also shared some testimonies from women about men’s involvement in childcare.

“My son in-law is a doctor, as is my daughter. He refuses to assist his wife in taking care of his daughter while she is at home and when she is busy working outside the home. As a result, the girl’s grandmother is the one who takes care of her until her mother returns from work,” said a 50-year old woman.

“Society still considers a woman’s place to be at home, and if she goes out to work, then it is an additional burden for her to bear,” said a 36-year old woman. EFE