The law to increase paid maternity leave from 6 to 9 months for working women has been implemented in the health and education ministries, said Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh, head of population, family and school health office, at the Health Ministry.
The ministries are also considering two weeks of paid paternity leave for fathers, IRNA quoted him as saying.
He hoped all government and non-government organizations would implement the law as soon as possible.
On February 20, 2014 the Majlis (Parliament) approved a new family planning bill to increase paid maternity leave for working women from six to nine months; however, the law had not been executed so far due to lack of funding.
Last year (ended March 20) out of the 1.7 million pregnancies registered, 1.2 resulted in births and the rest were miscarriages or terminated due to congenital abnormalities or health risks to mothers. The number of births also increased by 4.2% compared to the previous year.
Implementation of mother and baby health programs in the country has been the main cause of increase in number of births, he said.
All pregnant women under the age of 18 and over the age of 35, whose pregnancies are deemed high-risk, are examined eight times a year in health centers. Other pregnant women are checked six times a year, he added.
Maternity protection for women workers contributes to the health and well being of mothers and babies. Safeguarding women’s employment and income during and after maternity also ensures women’s access to equal opportunity and promotes gender equality and empowerment.