Talking Points: should fathers get the same amount of parental leave as mothers?

Complied by Jamie Lam

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

Complied by Jamie Lam |

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Carmen Leung ,17, TWGHs Lui Yun Choy Memorial College 

Absolutely. A woman will be exhausted after giving birth, so she needs some rest. Her husband can play a crucial role in looking after the baby. In addition,there is no doubt that parents have to bond more when there is a new addition to their family. Both should experience the process of caring for an infant together.

If fathers have to go to work soon after their wives have given birth, there could be serious problems at home. Imagine mothers doing all the housework while looking after a small baby. They will be stressed, and that could lead to depression. 

I think the government should consider giving both fathers and mothers the same amount of parental leave. Then there will be happy families all around.

Matthew Lin, 16, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

Definitely! People nowadays emphasise the need for fairness. Both mothers and fathers play equally important roles in their children’s growth. While mothers may be responsible for taking care of their children and housework, fathers can be their kids’ “playmates” and help give them a good education. At the same time, fathers can share the mothers’ workload. 

Also, fathers would not want to miss any amazing moments as their kids grow up. We cannot ignore the importance of both parents promoting the well-being of their children.

Jason Au To-kit, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

I don’t think so. However, fathers should get at least a week of paternity leave. During this period, men can take care of their wives and newborn. After giving birth, a mother will be very weak, while the baby also needs to be well looked after. 

Talking Points: Do you get along with your sibling?

What’s more, fathers get a well-deserved break from their work while learning how to take care of a baby. That’s why I think a week’s paternity leave for fathers will be very helpful.

Ting Ting Cheung, 13, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School 

Both fathers and mothers should get the same amount of  parental leave. This can prevent women suffering from depression after childbirth and ensure a happy married life.

Fathers should not leave their wives alone soon after a baby is born. You might think mothers are adults, so they can take care of themselves. But childbirth can be tough, and if their husbands aren’t around to help them, they could be upset. Mothers might think their husbands don’t care about them.

During parental leave, husbands can help take care of the baby and do household chores. A woman who has had her first baby may not know how to properly take care of the newborn, so her husband can help, making life much easier for her.

Abdul Malik Syed Ahamed, 12, Maryknoll Fathers’ School

Parental leave is essential for both mother and father. A mother could face a lot of physical problems after childbirth so the father has to take care of all her needs. A father should do all the domestic chores and offer spiritual support to his wife during this period. 

Currently, most men take no-pay leave to look after their wives. But if we introduce a new law giving both fathers and mothers the same amount of parental leave, men would be able to fulfil their responsibilities without any fear of losing their jobs. Creating such an environment will also increase the chances of fathers being directly involved in child care in the long run. Then both the mother and father can share the workload and make sure the child grows up in a happy family. This would make Hong Kong a better place to live.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

What can government do to stop the edlerly from fighting over scarps of cardboards?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by M.J Premaratne