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UP's women civil servants criticise Modi gov't 'sexist' childcare leave policy

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Sixty women officers have slammed govt move to include only single men in childcare leave policy as being “against the spirit of equality”.
Author: 
Bhardwaj, Deeksha
Publication Date: 
3 Jan 2019
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New Delhi: A group of 60 women civil servants has questioned a recent union government order that restricts childcare leave to female and “single male” civil servants, saying it virtually stripped fathers in two-parent households of rearing responsibilities.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had issued its amended childcare leave policy for civil servants on 11 December, after tweaking it to make concessions for single male employees, that is, unmarried men, divorcees or widowers.

Eligible employees can claim up to 730 days of childcare leave throughout their tenure.

In a letter signed “Women IAS officers in UP” and addressed to the UP Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Association, the 60 civil servants have slammed the DoPT for being “against the spirit of equality” and “officially announcing that care giving of children is solely a woman’s responsibility and the men are supposed to do it only if there is no woman in the family”.

The new policy, the letter states, limits the flexibility of parents and is unfair to fathers who want an equal stake in the upbringing of their children.

They have asked the UP IAS Association to take up the issue with the central government, and make childcare leave an option for both parents even in two-parent households.

“A failure of this will make the government of India, the ultimate care-giver, put up a very bad example instead of implementing equality in the rest of the country,” the letter states.

When asked about the notification, Rakesh Srivastava, the president of the central IAS Association, said they had not received the notification yet and could only authoritatively comment once it is sent to them.

ThePrint tried to contact the DoPT spokesperson for comment, but couldn’t get a response by the time of publishing. This report will be updated when they respond.

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Entered Date: 
8 Jan 2019
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