Hamro Sikkim Party has taken note of the new Notification Memo No. 79/Gen/DoP issued by the Department of Personnel. It appears that the Policy notified provides a Maternity Leave of 1 Year to Female Teachers working under the Education Department and a Paternity Leave of 1 Month to Male Teachers.
The Policy flagrantly violates principles of natural justice as it:
1) Discriminates between female teachers and female employees of other departments of the government, who have not been covered by the notification.
2) Discriminates between male teachers and male employees of other departments of the government, who have not been covered by the notification.
3) Discriminating between female teachers and male teachers, without providing any reasoning or logic for such discrimination.
While any policy granting extended maternity leave is always welcome, it is poor governance to formulate policies that discriminate and create inequality. Hamro Sikkim Party demands that the SKM Govt explains to the people of Sikkim why women employees of other departments of the government need less time and care before, during, and after pregnancy. This only shows that the SKM Govt has no real interest in women’s welfare and is blindly announcing absurd policies to garner votes by dividing Sikkimese society. Hamro Sikkim Party is committed to comprehensive women’s empowerment, which cannot be achieved by optical illusions.
Hamro Sikkim Party can only hope that better sense will prevail and the SKM Govt will rise above the lure of vote-bank politics and optics to extend the current policy to the women of all the government departments and increase paternity leave to at least 3 months. The same policy should also be made mandatory for the private sector organizations operating in Sikkim.