The Jakarta Post
In reference to Cyti Daniela Aruan's article, 'Cutting women's work hours: Profit or loss?' (The Jakarta Post, Dec. 4, p. 6) - indeed, on the surface, Jusuf Kalla's suggestion to cut the working hours of women to enable working mothers to allot more quality time to their children would seem to be very supportive of women. Is it really, though, or is it a discriminatory policy?
First, isn't child-raising the responsibility of both fathers and mothers? Don't children deserve to be nurtured by both fathers and mothers?
Second, doesn't such a ruling discriminate against the skills of the father in a parenting role? And what about the rights of women who choose to work, whose husbands have agreed to be stay-at-home dads and take care of the children?
Third, wouldn't such a policy lead to discrimination against single women and married women who do not have children? And what about married women workers with children as well ' the very people Kalla intends to help? Wouldn't employers prefer to hire males who would work two hours more per day than females with children?
It pays to be cautious. A ruling that appears to benefit women with children might just have the opposite effect!
Rosella M. Kameo
Salatiga, Central Java
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