International Labor Organization
The International Labour Organization is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN.
Humanizing the Workforce: Normalization of Parental Leave as Means to Achieve Gender Equality
In a survey during the last decade involving 186 countries, it is found that 96% (178) of countries provide paid leave for new mothers, however, these percentages would shrink to 58% (109 countries) when the concern is shifted to paid leave for new fathers. These statistics prove that the tight imposition of gender roles in society and the expected burden of childcare to maternal figures still affect labour policies when in fact, the burden of childcare should be held upon both parents equally.
This inequality on leaves has impacted gender equality in the workplace, such as how women are perceived and paid. It also hinders women from getting equal work opportunities, as employers stereotype that women will just ‘get pregnant and leave’, a reasoning used to justify the 2018 Medical School Entrance case in Japan where university admissions intentionally tried to bar female students from entering Medical Universities. However, putting parental leave as a proponent for gender equality and worker humanization in a crossroad with the realities of the social and economic dimensions is one of the main problems countries face. Delegates should consider the actual possibility for paid leaves to both parents, how policies may regulate this, and what aspects make parental leave so urgent--or not--to be provided.