We recently told you about countries without holidays, the kind of country where we clearly do not want to go and put our bags. Giving birth is no easy job. It is for this reason that most countries grant women maternity leave which would almost make the long school holidays go by for long weekends! A right which is unfortunately not the same everywhere in the world …
1. United States
In the land of Self-made men, women also have to work their way out on their own. Especially when they get pregnant. It is thus in the USA (and in Papua New Guinea) that maternity leave, that is to say the right to stay at home while being paid, does not exist. Employers are only required to grant 12 weeks of absence to pregnant women, without paying them a salary. And again, this requires that future mothers have been employed for more than 12 months in a company that employs more than 50 employees. The American dream what!
2. Papua New Guinea
If you find the school health pass law complicated, wait until you dig into the laws that regulate maternity leave in Papua New Guinea! To try to keep it simple, it all depends on whether you work in the public or in the private. Civil servants have the right to stop for 12 weeks, but only 6 weeks after childbirth would be eligible for payment. In the private sector, maternity leave does exist, but you can be asked to come to work anyway… but since you are supposed to be on leave, the employer can decide not to pay you! Obviously, Papuan women have it bad and have been trying since 2017 to change the legislation … in vain until today.
With only 4 weeks of maternity leave granted to pregnant women and just under 67% of their salary paid, Tunisia appears to be the poor student of Africa (and the world). The country is thus doing worse than Sudan (8 weeks, 100% of salary) and is especially lagging behind a country like Morocco with its 14 weeks of maternity leave paid at 100%. A reform project has been in the boxes of the new government for months, but the latter would have difficulty in giving birth.
4. United Arab Emirates
In this region of the world even more than elsewhere, the woman is anything but the equal of the man. The fault of laws which subject most of his freedoms to the assent of a male guardian. And if maternity leave does exist, its limit of only 45 paid days proves that it was well thought out and voted on by men.
8 weeks is the length of paid leave to which pregnant women in Malawi are entitled, with the payment of 100% of their salary… by their employer. A pill that can sometimes be difficult to swallow! Moreover, to regulate the use of this support, maternity leave is only available every 3 years.
Just the same as Malawi with 8 weeks of maternity leave, even if these measures exist more on paper than in reality. Especially with the military junta in power which unfortunately has other fish to fry, starting with its population which has been rising for several weeks against its diktat.
7. Puerto Rico
In Puerto Rico, we are quite flexible with women’s rights. If the law obliges the employers of the country to grant a paid leave of 8 weeks to the pregnant women, the latter can be brought to come to work until 1 week before the childbirth! Nothing also prevents them from coming back to work just 1 short week after the happy event, no doubt to have the pleasure of celebrating it all with colleagues!
Taiwanese women have fought since 2010 to voice their equality rights at work. So, of course, there is something better, making Asia the most advanced country in terms of labor rights for women, but everything is far from perfect. Studies have shown in particular that they only benefit a quarter of the rights recognized to men! there is one however where they are privileged compared to their male colleagues: parental leave! Normal, since they are the ones who do all the work! As a reward, they have the right to 8 weeks of paid vacation more or less according to their seniority in the company (50% of the salary if>
On the one hand, Lebanon grants 10 weeks of maternity leave to expectant mothers with 100% of the salary paid, which could be worse. On the other, an economic crisis that has raged since 2019 which caused the collapse of the Lebanese pound with a fall of -94% in 2 years against the dollar! Wages, when paid, are no longer worth anything in relation to price inflation. We consider that the minimum wage has now fallen to 30 dollars per month! With maternity leave paid in Lebanese pounds, that gives the equivalent of $ 30 paid for a little over 2 months! The price of 3 packs of diapers.
10. Eswatini (called Swaziland until 2018)
A small monarchy enclosed between South Africa and Mozambique, Eswatini is the last absolute monarchy in Africa. To sum up life there, the royal family is doing well as 2/3 of its population survives below the poverty line. Pregnant women who are lucky enough to have a job certainly benefit from 12 weeks maternity leave, but only the first 2 pregnancies are supposed to be covered by the employer. For others, it is clearly the reign of resourcefulness!