We know that men only get seven days of paternity leave with the arrival of a baby, according to Philippine law. We’ve written before about how that isn’t enough time to bond with the newborn and help their spouse or partner.
Moms’ postpartum recovery doesn’t end when they leave the hospital. Yet, it can feel like it because the focus is now on the baby, who requires 24/7 care and attention. Moms need help to take care of themselves and their little ones.
That’s why it is good to see big companies like Procter & Gamble support parents with an industry-leading paid parental leave program to address unpaid care work that moms almost always perform.
P&G Philippines’ “Share the Care” program provides eight weeks (yes, two months) of fully paid parental leave for fathers so they can care for and bond with biological or adopted children new to their family.
In a virtual engagement, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) recently lauded P&G for its program, which is aligned with PCW’s priority initiatives and commitment to ‘Recognize, Reduce, and Redistribute’ domestic obligations to both partners, especially on child-rearing.
Even before the pandemic, women and girls globally have already been bearing the greater burden of unpaid care work. In the Philippines, females spend a disproportionate amount of time on child care, elderly care, and housework, while males spend about twice as much time on paid market work.
This advocacy is even more critical in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has provided both an added burden and a unique opportunity. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) estimates that women’s unpaid work in the care economy is worth at least US$40 billion, roughly 20% of the country’s GDP.
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While gone unmeasured in national statistics, PCW says the unequal distribution of domestic work affects women’s and girls’ rights to education, economic participation, as well as rest and leisure activities. It reduces their productivity and increases the likelihood of employment in low-paid, part-time, and informal work.
The paid parental leave program actually applies to all P&G parents welcoming new children to their families, regardless of gender or marital status. Biological, adopting, domestic partners, LGBTQ+, men and women get the equal opportunity to share the care of and bond with biological or adopted children new to their family.
Birthing mothers continue to receive the 105 days of fully paid maternity leave to allow for recovery, a practice within the company even before the Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
Flex Leaves, another P&G policy, provides employees with paid leave to attend to their personal needs spanning emergencies to special moments such as milestone birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or graduation on top of the standard vacation leaves.
Main image shows (from left) Woo Joon Kim, a P&G employee for over 11 years. He shares he, wife Kristine Dianne, and son Min Joon, will be a family of four soon. Vince Murga, sales director for P&G’s Omni-Retail Channel and first-time dad, is with daughter Charlie.