so the gahment does care about you!!!....

- that's if.., if you're a "working statistic." Otherwise..., it remains blind to you.

quote (TODAY, 27 August 2004):
Better for dads to stay home, mums to work?

I recently became a father. I am disheartened that nothing was mentioned about what can be done for working fathers. In the many months of discussions leading to Wednesday's announcement, many had proposed longer paternity leave and other benefits for fathers in recognition of their greater involvement in the birth process.

With the birth of my son, I suddenly found myself a father to two "babies" — the infant, who needs attention around the clock; and my wife, who needs all the help and support she can get in the recovery process and in coping with the stress of breastfeeding.

I wake up twice a night to feed and change diapers, and go to work as usual in the morning. I took two weeks of annual leave and would have taken longer had my work schedule allowed.

I was very much looking forward to being granted longer paternity leave than the two days I get now — but, alas, the incentives show that we are still a very traditional society that believes that child-rearing is the sole responsibility of women.

In addition, several of the tax breaks and reliefs are given only to working mothers. So theoretically, if my wife earns the same income as I do, and one of us has to sacrifice career to become a homemaker, it now makes more financial sense for me to stay home. My working wife can then enjoy all the benefits accruing to her as a working mother. Does the Government agree?

Peter Lim


selected quote:
Recognise homemakers too
Most of the incentives, while heartening, are skewed towards working mothers. The Government should try to reduce the financial burden on single-income families and thus encourage homemakers who have at least one child to consider having more. Homemakers have placed the interests of their children ahead of their careers. Let's not forget this honorable group.

see also arguments put forth here.

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