Maternity should not be barrier in women’s career: SC Judge

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Maternity should not be an obstacle in women’s careers, says the Supreme Court.

Highlights

  • Maternity should not be an obstacle in women’s careers, says the Supreme Court
  • SC also said that high-quality childcare should be provided in the workplace
  • SC noted the “disappointing trend” that women leave the labor force due to lack of caregivers at home

Motherhood should not be an obstacle in women’s careers and providing access to high – quality childcare in the workplace would ensure that motherhood does not become an obstacle to women’s autonomy, Supreme Court Judge BV Nagarathna said on Friday.

Judge Nagarathna, who spoke as a guest of honor at the inauguration of a daycare center at Delhi High Court, said that no country, society or economy can achieve its potential without the full and equal participation of women and reliable, affordable and good. Good quality childcare is crucial to encourage more mothers to join and participate in the workforce.

“I have firmly believed that motherhood should not be an obstacle to women’s careers to plateau or dip. Motherhood must not result in a situation where women are passed on for promotion and employment. It is in this context that I say that the provision of access to childcare by high quality in the workplace would play an important role in ensuring that motherhood does not become an insurmountable obstacle to women’s empowerment, says judge Nagarathna.

The Supreme Court judge also noted the “disappointing trend” that women are leaving the workforce, including the legal profession, despite an increase in their entry, saying one of the reasons behind this was the lack of an alternative caregiver when they become parents. Supreme Court Justice Indira Banerjee, who attended the event as the main guest, praised the Supreme Court and said that opening a daycare center was a major step towards equality and equal opportunities for women.

She said that although parenting is a “shared responsibility”, there is a deep-rooted mindset that permeates all levels of society, including the judges, that raising children is the responsibility of the mother. Acting Chief Judge of Delhi High Court Judge Vipin Sanghi said that a kindergarten frees every woman and in today’s scenario it is not only for mothers but also for fathers.

He said that the day care facility in the Supreme Court could be used by the plaintiffs as well, in addition to the lawyers and employees, and that it would give parents, especially mothers, strength. Judge Sanghi noted that labor force participation for women in India was low at 23% in the Supreme Court and one of the reasons behind this was the lack of safe childcare.

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