Extend maternity leave to five months - Rebecca Akufo-Addo

The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo explained that the extension is in line with provisions of the International Labour Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention which Ghana is a signatory to.

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This is a call made by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

She was speaking at a national launch of the 2017 World Breastfeeding Week at Takoradi in the Western Region.

She explained that the extension is in line with provisions of the International Labour Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention which Ghana is a signatory to.

Ghana’s labour law gives nursing mothers 12 weeks (84 days) of maternity leave with full pay. Many have argued that the duration is not enough for the mothers and babies alike.

She said one of the reasons mothers cannot breastfeed their babies properly is because of the short maternity leave they enjoy.

“We have a long way to go in making sure that all women in this country practice breastfeeding, to provide their children with the benefits and protection needed in their early stages.”

She added that there was the “need to improve the current support systems and create conducive environments for women to breastfeed in their workplaces, markets, homes, communities and at social gatherings.”

“Supporting breastfeeding also requires us to remove barriers to breastfeeding wherever the need arises, including those that exist… in work situations and at social gatherings. We call on employers and parliament to extend the period of maternity leave as specified under the International Labour Organization Maternity Protection Convention,” she added.

In a related development, UNICEF has also expressed concern over the breastfeeding culture among mothers in the country.

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