Draft sex equality law proposes leave for dads

New dads in Shenzhen could soon get 30 days of paid paternity leave under a draft regulation that aims to promote gender equality.

The city's Women's Federation has drawn up a draft regulation, the first of its kind on the mainland, that is expected to be included in Shenzhen's legislative plans this year, the Guangzhou Daily said yesterday.

If the bill is passed, Shenzhen will be the first city to have detailed rules protecting women against gender discrimination in the workplace as well as domestic and sexual violence. Fathers will get leave to be with their wives and newborns.

The new provision for fathers was welcomed by Liu Fang , a female lawyer in Shenzhen. 'Currently, gender equality in the country's laws is mainly focused on public affairs. No laws have specified men's rights for paternity leave. Shenzhen's move indicates that people have developed a positive attitude toward men's involvement,' she said.

Thirty-six countries, mostly in Europe, allow leave for both parents, according to Xinhua.

In the mainland, some areas offer time off for new dads. The duration usually ranges from three to 10 days. Such holidays exist only in regional law and only as an addition to the country's birth control policy.


But the draft's main focus is on gender equality for women.

Under it, a female victim of violence by a partner can seek court protection; female retirees will be guaranteed fair compensation for the smaller size of their pensions, since the law requires women to retire at age 55, compared with 60 for men; and women will even be provided with more toilet stalls than men are.

The draft also requires that the government make public policy from a gender perspective, which would help prevent gender discrimination in government regulations.

It also says the government should consider gender when distributing resources in its budget, so as to ensure equality.


Though details of the draft have yet to be completely made public, the concepts of including gender considerations in public policy decisions and auditing to ensure a more equal local distribution of resources are pioneering ones.

The country has so far implemented a law only for the protection of the rights and interests of women. It came into effect in 1993.


Shenzhen in the lead

Pioneering measure requires public policy to take gender into account

Number of days of paternity leave proposed under the new draft regulation: 30