Before understanding why paternity leave is important, one must know the definition and area. When referring to Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands, the need is fundamental for the fathers to feel a part and responsibility for raising their children. Gone are the days of mothers bearing the entire burden. Children need both parents to have a good start in life and retain a sense of family throughout the coming generations.
Dictionary.com defines paternity leave in this way:
"A period of absence from work granted to a father after or shortly before the birth of his child: Expanding paternity leave creates stronger family bonds."
The importance of paternity leave is evident if you have ever studied the familial structure in the Caribbean Islands. No doubt, balancing fatherhood and work can be a challenge- but coupled with a lack of time to bond initially with a child, the results can be devastating.
Correcting these generational stigmas and increasing the father's role in families will result in a better and more stable child and society at large.
The Plan for Paternity Leave and More
Maternity leave is being increased, and the Holness administration is now introducing paternity leave and adoptive parent leaves. And it is a good thing. The families of Jamaica and the islands sorely need the total time to establish a better sense of family.
Furthermore, the government is committed to "modernizing the civil service, which includes restructuring public sector compensation," according to the finance minister Dr. Nigel Clarke.
While details are still being ironed out and dates for the changes have not yet been released, a plan is in motion.
When the discussion was first begun (the Paternity Leave Act was introduced four years ago), Professor Opal Adisa had this to say.
"Paternity leave would assist in shifting the paradigm that it's a mother's job to raise the children to that of both parents."
Likewise, Prime Minister Holness stressed the importance of cash in hands for the people of the islands and for an adjustment in how they live and work.
These advancements in forward-thinking throughout the Caribbean islands, experts agree, will help to correct generations of thinking and build a brighter future for the children of the island nations.
CITED: St. Lucia.loopnews.com, Jamaica-gleaner.com, dictionary.com, pampers.com