The issue of paternity leave has been debated with men being on either side of it. While a large part of the world has warmed up to the fact that in this day and age in which women make up a large part of the workforce, it is important that domestic responsibilities are shared equally and therefore, corporate houses have included paternity leave as part of their policies.

We got a mixed reaction on the topic with some people still sticking to the principle that it is solely the woman's responsibility to raise the child. Share your thoughts with us at

It will help a mother cope better with pregnancy and childbirth.

It is very important that a man takes some time off to help his wife with the baby. A man should feel and get to know how much work the woman has after the baby is born. And in this way the man also gets a chance to bond and connect with the baby. I live in Switzerland and there I see that more men are trying to use this chance.
- Huda Elmira Chehade

When I had a baby, my husband did help me and at that time I felt on top of the world. I would definitely encourage this. In fact, all my colleagues and friends look forward to this. Also, when the father helps, not only does it help the mother, but the father also feels relaxed.
- Attiyah Mualla

Yes, it will help. She needs someone to take care of her needs as well, especially emotional. You can hire a maid to look after the baby but you can't expect any emotional support from her. I think that apart from this, the first child that is born happens to share a very strong bond with the father. It is important that the man takes some leave, the wife would definitely be happy.
- Vipin Rajput

Yes it does. For the sake of the woman, I am with it. I believe it helps in bonding; there is a sense of wonder, too, for the parents. I, however, could not help my wife. I think it depends on the man and the stress at work. Also, I feel that some men do take advantage of it and treat it as a holiday.
- Johnny Al Ghoul

It is insulting to the male image to go on paternity leave.

Not at all, because I think that a father has an equally important role like the mother. I don't know how men feel about it, but I think this should be encouraged. It might hurt the male ego; some may think it is not cool to be doing so but it also depends on the man; if he has been brought up right, it should have no effect.
- Caroline Levis

I don't think it is the man's responsibility to raise the child. The man is supposed to get the money and the woman is supposed to look after the children. I don't think a man should take leave.
- Omar Jabbar

Yes, but at the same time, I think it depends on the mentality of the man. Like here, it is the woman who is supposed to take care of the baby, change diapers and all. But for me, I love looking after my children. Some people would laugh and consider it a waste of time, but I think it's a great joy to spend time with my wife and children and take care of them.
- Gabriel Assad

Yes, for men it is insulting, but not for all. Most men would take it as an insult … like he's the man and he's not supposed to be home with the wife taking care of the child. He is supposed to be out working. But I think Westerners do not have this issue. I think it just has to do with how a person was raised.
- Laila Katouf

It will make both parents equally responsible for childcare.

Of course, I strongly believe in the importance of paternity leave. Responsibilities should be divided equally between the husband and wife, especially that the wife just gave birth to a baby. I do not think it makes men less manly, but shows that they are more understanding. It's not the woman's baby only and the husband needs to chip in.
- Hadeel Fouad
Abu Dhabi

It is important for the man to take leave because they need to distribute tasks between them equally, but unfortunately not all men do it. I think part of that goes to the fact that men think it's useless to stay home with the mother and the baby. But still some men do stay, while some take off and just go on a holiday instead.
- Hussain Al Fardan
Abu Dhabi

The man needs to feel and know what the woman is going through. Honestly, the woman goes through a lot and the simplest things a man can do are take time off and spend it with his wife and give her support and encouragement. The responsibility of the baby is not only on the woman you know.
- Heba Adnan
Abu Dhabi

While some may view paternity leave as a reason for a holiday, this could not be further from the truth, as the position comes with “managing the entire household'' and all the myriad tasks that are involved. I think the process is beneficial to both parents in raising their children. Also remember, finance can play a major and decisive factor should the mother's income contribute more to the family each month.
- B. Cummings
Gulf News Reader's Club member

Many men might treat it as just another holiday.

I do not see any reason for taking paternity leave, because taking care of the child is the mother's responsibility. She is the one who feeds and cleans. The father's responsibility is to provide. I do not know about those who take off from work with the excuse that they just had a baby. But if you have a holiday, then it is okay if you help. Otherwise, I think these men are plain lazy.
- Basil Hesham
Abu Dhabi

I think the idea of taking off for paternity leave depends on the individual. Not everyone would actually help the mother during it. Some take these days off and count it as a holiday as a chance to help the wife. Otherwise I think it's better for the person to just go to work if he is not going to do anything useful or help with the baby.
- Abby Alex

It is not like that in our culture. The man works and earns for the family and the wife takes care of the house. This is the tradition. But I think the father is responsible to make time for his family. Like okay you want to have fun you can, but also the father should spend the time with his wife and the baby and provide them with the support they need.
- Azim T.H.

Well, I am against the paternity leave idea, because I believe that a man has to work and not stay at home. I think the father can spend all the time he wants with his family on holidays, but not really take off especially because his wife had a baby.
- Tom Thomas