Bamugemereire advocates for six months maternity leave


Bamugemereire also contends that the four days for paternity leave is inadequate.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire (right) poses for a picture with the First Lady Janet Museveni, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and other women dignitaries during the Fourth Annual Women’s Forum in Kampala

KAMPALA_ Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has made a case for maternity leave to be increased from 90 days to six months as a way of lightening the burden of women in child bearing and rearing.

Bamugemereire also contends that the four days for paternity leave is inadequate.

The proposal made on Sunday during the Fourth Annual Women’s Forum in Kampala is bound to set tongues wagging, especially among private employers who deem maternity and paternity leave as lost labour.

“Giving birth is not a cup of tea; it’s neither a stroll in the park. Maternity leave should be increased to six months so that by the time the woman is going back to work, the baby is able to sit,” Bamugemereire said to ululation from women.

Both paternity and maternity leave are statutory rights under the Employment Act. However, private employers are reluctant to employ women because of the mandatory maternity leave which makes them feel like they are paying salaries to employees who are not working.

Some private employers literally warn their female employers that they risk losing their jobs if they give birth more than ounce in a given period out of an aversion to maternity leave.

Therefore, any suggestion to increase maternity and paternity leave beyond the present 90 and four days respectively is least likely to gain support from Government out of fear that private investors that are providing employment to thousands of Ugandans will find the legal regime disadvantageous.

However, Bamugemereire whose submission on women’s access to justice  was one of the five panelists that the organisers deemed worth to empower women at a function graced by the Speaker to Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga , First Lady Janet Museveni and a host of female luminaries.

The Annual Women’s Forum preceded the Annual National Prayer Breakfast which is slated for Monday under the theme derived from Proverbs 14:23 : “All hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

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