National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) has initiated a campaign to increase the existing paid maternity leave in Malaysia from 60 to 90 days. Having experienced a longer maternity leave in the UK, I am all for the campaign and would like to urge all Malaysians to sign the petition and support this progressive call along with me. The petition is open to all Malaysians worldwide. International organisations/non-Malaysian individuals can contribute to this campaign by writing letters/statements of solidarity and support to NUBE.
According to this petition, Malaysia is so far behind when it comes to breastfeeding and caring for a mother's well-being. Our neighbouring countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Singapore have a minimum of 90 days paid maternity leave to begin with (Singapore has 112 days!). They have also made it compulsory for companies to provide nursing rooms for their employees or grant a breastfeeding mother two 30-minute breaks to provide for her child.
I remember when Baby O was turning 2 months old, I was extremely glad that I didn't have to prepare myself to return to work. Other than being able to spend more time with my new baby, I felt that I was still not fully recovered physically to be able to work. I kept wondering to myself how could mothers back in Malaysia return to work just after two months of maternity leave!? Well, I could if I don't have a choice I suppose. And then maybe develop Post-Natal Depression after!
Well, my point is, we, mothers definitely need the option to be off work for at least 90 days post-delivery to enable us to recover not just physically but emotionally and mentally as well. If you are a mother/ daughter/ partner and wish for the best for yourself/ your friend/ your sister/ your spouse, then please view and sign the petition by clicking here. They need 1 million signatures by 6 June 2010. So hurry!!!