- A surgeon based in Nakuru has petitioned the court to order the same length of paternity and maternity leave.
- Dr. Benjamin Magare Gikenyi, a specialist in trauma and general surgery, is calling for the court to extend paternity leave to three months, as well as maternity leave, in his motion filed with the Nairobi High Court.
- In his affidavit in court, the petitioner argues that the current law, which grants women longer parental leave than men, is unfair and discriminatory for both sexes, especially men.
A surgeon based in Nakuru has petitioned the court to order the same length of paternity and maternity leave.
Dr. Benjamin Magare Gikenyi, a specialist in traumatology and general surgery, in his application filed with the High Court in Nairobi, demands that the court extend the paternity leave to three months, as well as the maternity leave, as an interim involvement or change by the parties involved in parliament to check the period.
“The petitioner humbly requests the court to order that paternity leave be equivalent to maternity leave for three months until stakeholders get involved or parliamentary amendment, whichever comes first,” the petition reads.
In his affidavit in court, the petitioner argues that the current law, which grants women longer parental leave than men, is unfair and discriminatory for both sexes, especially men.
According to him, the law assumes that a father plays no or a very limited role in a child’s development, an assumption he makes has no scientific, moral, or social evidence.
Dr. Magare notes that because of this discrimination, fathers fail to bond with their children, which results in them being cast out later in life when the children bring their mothers forward.
On the other hand, he argues that the law penalizes women in their jobs if employers choose to use the long term to replace them.
According to him, some companies choose to employ more male workers than women who have longer maternity leave, which makes them less productive for the company.
“The fact that we only had two weeks of paternity leave and three months of maternity leave doesn’t make it right. Our constitution guarantees the right to non-discrimination, and the court should grant that, ”the statement of claim said.
Dr. Magare argues that if the petition is passed, it will result in some organizations increasing the number of female employees as a price to pay for fair labor practices and setting a precedent for other neighboring countries.
The petition listed the Department of Labor and the Attorney General as interested parties. Other actors are the Kenyan Workers’ Association, the Central Trade Union Organization, the Kenyan Trade Union Congress and the Kenyan Senate as well as the National Assembly.
Judge Jacob Gakeri ordered that the petition be served and answered within 21 days.