Maternity Leave, Leadership and Masculinity in the Context of Gender Relations and Cultural Diplomacy

Molatokunbo Abiola S Olutayo, Modupe O Ala



Women had long been accorded due recognition for their role as child bearers in African traditional societies. The transformed African institutions and policies which were in tune with the European values and culture confined the women to the home front. This further sharpened such roles in the colonial and postcolonial era. By granting maternity leave to them rather than paternity leave to the men, women as mothers were perceived as those who ensure the socialisation of children into the society. In other words, culture seems to be reproduced in the recognition of women until recently. The new paternity leave being recently granted to men traverses or goes beyond the feminist boundary which seems to be subordinated for the recognition of masculinity. By further implication, women as those who are mostly responsible for the socialisation of children reduce such function by including men. This paper discusses this new phenomenon and its implications for the female gender in the newly emerging gender relations. It posits that patriarchal leadership seems to be responsible for this new phenomenon such that gender issues, which used to be perceived as female and women issues are now expanded in the new gender relations.

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