The Women and Social Welfare Committee of the House of Representatives has directed different ministries for effective implementation of ‘The Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act, 2018’.

A meeting of the committee today directed the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies for the same.

The meeting discussed practices of maternity leave related to safe motherhood and reproductive health rights. The committee instructed the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens to make arrangements and coordinate for exercising of the rights as per the law.

Committee President Nirudevi Pal said, “Some women-related legal provisions are said to be in contravention to each other, obstructing their effective enforcement. In this context, the National Women’s Commission has been asked to identify such provisions, study the reasons behind low effectiveness of women-related rights and update the committee about its findings.’’

The act has, under the right to obstetric leave, guaranteed that any woman working in a governmental, non-governmental or private organisation shall have the right to get obstetric leave with pay, for a minimum of ninety-eight days before or after the delivery.

In the meeting, former minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizens Thammaya Thapa, committee members Bimala Nepali, Ganga Chaudhary Satgauwa and Narayan Khatiwada said though the provision of 98-day maternity leave was implemented by government offices, it was yet to be enforced by the private sector.