Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) continue to advocate for gender equality and women empowerment to improve and enhance maternity leave conditions in Tunisia. Our efforts have gained momentum and come at a crucial time as the Tunisian parliament resumes its activities amidst calls from numerous activists seeking extended maternity leave to enhance the mental and physical health of mothers and babies postpartum.
On National Women’s Day, August 13, our ceaseless endeavours bore fruit. The Tunisian Minister of Women, Amal Bel Haj, announced the drafting of a new law aimed at improving and enhancing maternity leave conditions. The proposed legislation is currently awaiting parliamentary approval. The main highlights of this proposed law include:
– Equal Opportunities: The law aims to eliminate discrimination between mothers working in public and private sectors by offering them equal benefits.
– Fathers’ Rights: Recognizing the importance of shared parenting, the new law proposes up to four months of continuous parental leave for fathers. Public sector employees will receive half their wages during this period, while those from the private sector will receive a third of their wages.
– Extra Prenatal Leave: Depending on medical reports, mothers could benefit from an additional two weeks to a month of prenatal leave.
– Bereavement Leave: In a compassionate move, the law proposes a one-month leave for mothers who suffer the unfortunate loss of an infant.
– Extended Leave for Special Cases: Mothers who give birth to twins or a child with health issues will be entitled to an extra four months of parental leave.
This legislation reflects JHR’s core belief that fair and comprehensive maternity laws are vital in safeguarding women’s rights and promoting healthier families. We’re proud to have played a part in pushing for these reforms and are hopeful they will be passed swiftly.