Fresh news from the Parliament. Maternal leaves have been extended to three years and the male initiator of the bill also is hoping that if the husbands will earn a lot of money than the wives would be able to stay at home with the child for life.
From the point of view of child’s interest this is a nice gesture. From the woman’s point of view, it can turn into an employment issue. The employers are not generally happy about hiring young women because of the pregnancy risk. It is also unusual that the employers pay the women on maternity leaves as they are required by law. Therefore, it is unlikely that women’s situation is going to improve with the longer maternal leaves. The usual story is that the mother either stays at home until the family is able to afford taking their child to kindergarten or her extended family (usually a younger sister or distant female relative) takes care of the child while she is at work.
The statement of the MP Rahatbek Irsaliev who initiated the bill about staying at home ‘for life’ is particularly scary to hear because it implies that the Soviet idea of women being an important part of the work force is vanishing and the more traditional view is taking over.