The new NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) gender-neutral guidelines give preference to the term 'Parental Leave'. Not 'Maternity Leave'. As a mother, I took maternity leave - which has implicit recognition of the additional burden of carrying a developing human in my womb for the better part of a year, giving birth to that precious new human, breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and all the other experiences of motherhood, that only mothers - who take maternity leave - experience. A mother who takes 10 months of maternity leave does not have the same amount of career interruption as a father who takes 10 months of parental leave. Words matter. Having to use the term 'parental leave' takes away all additional recognition of the different experience of mothers.
#australia #language #terminology #inclusivity #erasingdifference #parentalleave #maternityleave #guidelines