Parliament is reportedly close to passing a law that, will for the first time, give legal recognition to the key role grandmothers and other senior female family members play in the care and nurturing of newborns.
Under this new law, a working woman whose adult daughter or niece gives birth will be entitled to a 3 week paid leave. A grandmother or aunt will be required to produce a medical certificate proving that the said daughter or niece has recently had a baby. While on this special kind of maternity leave, an employee will be entitled to her usual remuneration and allowances.
The proposed law which has the support of all the parties in parliament is expected to be passed without any objections. A female MP who is also a strong advocate of the law opined that the law is long overdue. “I am glad we now have a legal framework that will recognise the very vital role grandmas and aunties play when a child is born. Things may be different in other parts of the world, but here in Ghana, when a child is born, the grandmother and other senior female members of the family are practically responsible for the care of the nursing mother and her newborn for the first few weeks. Grandmas and aunties dedicate as much time and effort as nursing mothers to look after the babies, so it’s just fair that they are given a portion of the privileges afforded to nursing mothers.”
A section of the public interviewed by our reporters appeared to be largely in support of this proposed law. A few of the men however asked for the same privileges to be extended to grandfathers and uncles.