Extending maternity leave for women
22 April 2014 –While the International Labour Organisation requires a standard minimum of 12 weeks of maternity leave, maternity leave in Lebanon was only seven weeks long. In April 2014, however, Article 38 of the 1959 Decree no. 112, and Articles 28 and 29 of the Lebanese Labour Law were all amended to extend maternity leave to 10 weeks with full pay. With regards to this issue, Bahia Baalbaky, a lifelong activist of the Secondary Schools’ Teachers Association in Lebanon and one of the founders of Independent Syndicate Current, expressed the need to take additional measures in order to further extend maternity leave. She said:
“We demanded a maternity leave of three months because the motherhood role isn’t just for women, it’s for the society as a whole. But maternity leave should be extended further. Motherhood, much like reproduction, is a social role; this responsibility does not only fall on women, but on the entire society. This is why women should be given the right to adequate maternity leave.”Interview by Lebanon Support with Bahia Baalbaky, a lifelong activist of the Secondary Schools’ Teachers Association in Lebanon, Beirut, 19 February 2018.