Maternal and Child Welfare Bill Approved as House Initiative

Diana Mariska
House of Representatives deputy speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad (Photo: House of Representatives)
House of Representatives deputy speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad (Photo: House of Representatives) - The maternal and child welfare bill (RUU KIA) has been approved as the House of Representatives initiative after a plenary meeting on Thursday.

During the session led by Sufmi Dasco Ahmad on the afternoon of June 30, members of the House agreed to make the bill, which extends maternity and paternity leave for workers, an initiative.

The maternal and child welfare bill is expected to become a new weapon for the Indonesian government to tackle stunting problems, especially in certain regions in the country.

It regulates a six-month maternity leave for female employees after the birth of a child as well as a leave period after a miscarriage or stillbirth. Currently, eligible maternity leave in Indonesia is only three months, as regulated by Law No. 13/2003 on Manpower.

Male employees in Indonesia may also get up to 40 days of paternity leave after a child’s birth as well as up to seven-day leave in the event of miscarriage or stillbirth.

“Through the KIA bill, we will push for paternity leave because [it] protects the rights of husbands to be with their wives during birth and 40 days after becoming new parents,” deputy chairman of the House’s legislation committee Willy Aditya said.

The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) previously said the bill will support the national fight against stunting.

Chairperson Hasto Wardoyo said the agency supports the idea of extending maternity leave period in Indonesia from three to six months because in the long run, it will also accelerate efforts to reduce stunting prevalence in Indonesia.

“BKKBN welcomes the proposed six-month maternity leave,” Wardoyo said on June 21.

Besides making positive impacts to stunting eradication effort, longer maternity leave is also expected to reduce the risk of maternal and neonatal deaths.

“If provided with six-month leave, pregnant women can start taking it since the 36th week of their pregnancy, so they don’t have to engage in a too many activities that can risk their pregnancy," Wardoyo explained, adding that new mothers can also have time to completely recover and to breastfeed their children exclusively in the first six months.

Tag # maternal and child welfare bill # ruu kia # house of representatives # indonesia maternity leave # sufmi dasco ahmad

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