The United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an amendment to the labor laws has granted paternity leave to fathers of newborns – the first Arab country to do so.
Fathers will have a five-day paid leave to take care of their child, from birth until they turn six months. Not only is the country ahead of its Arab counterparts but also of some Western countries like the US, where paid leaves are not guaranteed for mothers, let alone for fathers.
Studies have shown that paternity leaves, even short ones, are beneficial for father-child bonding. It also ensures greater marital stability and prevents divorce. The UAE government says it takes a step towards gender equality by recognizing the importance of the father’s role in a child’s upbringing.