The extension of the paternity leave to 10 days by the Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari is a welcome step. It is a recognition by the government of a father’s role in child rearing. Fathers miss out on crucial bonding time with their children due to the pressures of work. In most cases, many are not present due to the impending threat of employers in case of their absence. However, the government will now ensure that official employees get this time period with their child.

According to research, the initial year after the birth of the child is very important in brain development. The connections that a child forms in this time impact his responses and decisions later in life. These 10 days offered by the government may be less in comparison to what developed countries offer but it is a policy which will certainly impact houses. These policies must also adapt to the culture and the pace of advancements in any society. At this particular point, Pakistan is in a transitional phase where women are actively seeking more and more jobs. In such an environment, these leaves will provide families a lot relief and aid in managing change in a better manner.

To complement the formation of such a policy, it is also advisable to extend this policy to the private sector where the understanding for labor laws is close to non-existence. The private sector is expanding rapidly and in order to ensure no exploitation of the workforce, advocacy campaigns need to be designed along with empowerment of the workforce. A complaint portal should be set up in cases where an employee is being forced to give up his or her legal rights along with strict audits of companies and their adoption of the Pakistani jurisprudence.