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Posted On: 12 June 2013 08:52 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

“Better Maternity Standards Needed”: DIFI

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The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) concluded the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) that was held to address the issues of family poverty in the Mena Region recently. The meeting brought to light the most prevalent issues pertaining to family poverty in the region. Among some of the recommendations that were proposed for confronting family poverty and social exclusion in the Mena region included the need for family income support programmes. Experts called for governments to provide for generous maternity leave policies covered by social insurance schemes along with subsidised, high-quality child care facilities and allowances. They said child care services should be high on the policy agenda in Mena countries. They also recommended family and child care allowances be allocated to mothers and not exclusively to fathers as this would enable families to thrive and allow women to better engage in both employment and family life. “The proceedings of the two-day EGM revealed the most pressing issues governments in the Arab world need to focus on are in the areas of family, women and education. The panel of experts were able to articulate a set of recommendations that governments and policymakers can consider on a national strategy level, with positive implications on a grass root level,” said Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director of DIFI. Gender equality measures to improve the well-being of women, and prevent practices such as child marriage were also strongly advocated by experts. Recommendations to provide financial incentives to families who need it to ensure they keep their daughters in school throughout their secondary education were also put forward. Panellists called for reforms in family law to be more in favour of women in accordance with their changing family and social roles. They also recommended care work, which women undertake at home for the young and the elderly, be compensated for. Experts also recommended public education reforms that focus on increasing its quality so that children from less advantaged families can compete on an even playing field. The panel also said urgent reforms were required on both the supply and demand side of the labour markets to facilitate the creation of decent jobs as defined by the International Labour Office. The panel also put forward a set of recommendations for the elderly population, including a pension system for all workers in the formal and informal sectors Source : Qatar Chronicle