August 25, 2014
In July the European Parliament announced to open talks over the maternity leave reform. In 2010 the EP approved in first reading the draft proposal, but it never came into force. The reform cannot be stuck forever, so the European commission recently announced plans to withdraw it, after four years’ deadlock, because there is no common position in the Council.
A new proposal now is aimed at extend fully paid maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks across the EU.
Length of maternity leave for working women still varies widely from one EU member state to another.
This is a crucial issue, but it is not the only problem Italian women face.
In our country women risk to lose job at any time unless they have a permanent contract.
Imagine an office where girls have the same age, and the same education but do not have the same rights. While an employee could stay at home with her child, keeping her job and position, her colleague with a temporary job is at risk to lose her job at the end of her maternity leaving. In the best case her boss would hire her again when her baby will be grown up enough to attend nursery school.
Nevertheless, in Italy there are very few public nursery schools. Mothers are often forced to pay expensive private schools if they want someone take care of them. But not all the families can afford it.
More and more women are forced to leave job and stay at home. How long can we tolerate this unjustice?
Moreover, the EU institutions and the member states promote directives and regulations on any issue such as payments, tobacco, internal market, telecoms or data protection. After 22 years european women deserve a new, strong law promoting gender equality. But not all the enterprises would agree with this reform, due to the economic crisis. This is the reason why maybe it would never come into force. Will the Italian Presidency try to reach consensus over this reform? It could be a major breakthrough.Author : aleflo