The maternal and child welfare bill also proposes maternity leave to be extended to up to six months.
The 2021 Global Nutrirtion Report placed Indonesia in number 108 out of 132 countries on stunting prevalence.
Proposed 6-Month Maternity Leave Will Support Fight Against Stunting: BKKBN
TheIndonesia.id - The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) has expressed its support for the maternal and child welfare bill (RUU KIA) that proposes maternity leave for employees to be extended to six months and said the bill would support the national fight against stunting.
BKKBN chairperson Hasto Wardoyo said the agency supports the idea of extending maternity leave period in Indonesia from three to six months because in the long run, it will also accelerate efforts to reduce stunting prevalence in the country.
“BKKBN welcomes the proposed six-month maternity leave,” Wardoyo said on Tuesday, June 21, as reported by Antara.
Besides making positive impacts to stunting eradication effort, longer maternity leave is also expected to reduce the risk of maternal and neonatal deaths.
“If provided with six-month leave, pregnant women can start taking it since the 36th week of their pregnancy, so they don’t have to engage in a too many activities that can risk their pregnancy," Wardoyo explained, adding that new mothers can also have time to completely recover and to breastfeed their children exclusively in the first six months.
“If exclusive breastfeeding is made possible, then it’s incredible because it’s one of the measures to prevent stunting,” the chairperson said.
BKKBN is also committed to more massively campaign the importance of exclusive breastfeeding when the bill is finally passed into law.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Puan Maharani previously said the bill aims to birth excellent Indonesians, so they can become the country’s “golden generation” in the future.
Besides six-month maternity leave, the maternal and child welfare bill also proposes male employees to get up to 40 days of paternity leave.
“Through the KIA bill, we will push for paternity leave because [it] protects the rights of husbands to be with their wives during birth and 40 days after becoming new parents,” deputy chairman of the House’s legislation committee Willy Aditya said.
The bill also regulates paternity leave of up to seven days in the event of miscarriage or stillbirth.