Maternity Benefits : A Quest For Workplace Equality
Mounika Pvls, Dr. Ambedkar Global Law Institute, Tirupati.*
“Many a good man has been put under the bridge by a woman”
Both women and men, have the right to a workplace which is secure, free from discrimination and violence and convenient to fulfilling one’s roles, tasks and responsibilities as it is an arena where they spend a major percentage of their day. Women labour participation in India is extremely low and has fallen over the years. Moreover, lack of education and job-oriented courses, lack of mobility, and discrimination at the workplace have acted as barriers for women to come out to the public space for work. This paper attempts to trace the course of maternity benefits and protection-related issues in India to explore the classic interlocking of women’s work and maternal roles and their treatment through the years. This paper discusses the conceptual issues around women workers’ maternity rights. It covers women movements and legal guarantees for maternity protection and women rights as workers. It also poses the key issues that revolve around women’s work and the linkage to maternity benefits. This paper represents the invisibility of women’s contribution to social reproduction and the particular ways by which women are getting involved in the global economy. This paper mainly concentrates on the applications of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 which was enacted to facilitate maternity leave for pregnant women with full wages which have been paid to her by her employer and how the women are being sexually harassed at the workplace effects the labour participation rate.
Keywords- Maternity benefits, Economic benefits, Labour force participation, Mobility, Discrimination.
* Second Year Law Student Pursuing BA. LLB (Hons.) from Dr. Ambedkar Global Law Institute, Tirupati.  Charles Bukowski, Women: A Novel, HarperCollins (2002), available at https://www.google.co.in/books/ edition/Women/nYKhtI5zMLoC? hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=QUOTES+ON+WOMEN+WELL+BEING&printsec=frontcover 2 A German-American poet and a novelist.