Armenia: Parliament vote to approve controversial maternity leave bill

babyuThe parliament of Armenia have this week voted to approve a controversial new bill which will see changes being made to the current laws regarding maternity leave of pregnant women.

The draft of the ‘Temporary Disability Benefits Law’ was approved with a vote of 67 to 7 (with 25 abstentions) and is now one step closer to becoming law in Armenia.

The controversial bill has been protested by several groups in Armenia, include many women’s rights groups, who see the bill as unfairly impacting on the lives of pregnant women and mothers. Under the new law some women who take maternity leave will be entitled to different rates of compensation, which many claim will lead to some mothers losing income and being forced out of the job market.

In response to the bill several protests were organized by Armenian women’s groups, who claim that the new laws are sexist.

The proposed bill must now go through several more stages before being approved as law, but with large-scale approval being seen from the country’s ruling party it is believed that there will be very little opposition in turning the bill into law.

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