Islamabad (Agencies): The government is considering increasing the maternity leave up to six months in order to encourage exclusive breastfeeding, said State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb.
While, addressing a mass awareness campaign titled “Umeed Sey Agey” at the Ministry of Planning, Aurangzeb said though exclusive breastfeeding is strongly recommended, the maternity leave in Pakistan is just three months.
“I suggest Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) should assist the government in legislation for increasing maternity leave. How can a woman ensure exclusive breastfeeding if she only gets three months’ leave,” she said.
The minister said it is unfortunate that there is no trend for day-care centres in offices in Pakistan.
“On the other hand, women in rural areas have six to eight children. They prefer giving the best part of their food to their children and so they do not get proper nutrition. Currently, 44pc of children under five in the country are stunted,” she said.