In India, even now one can expect a shopkeeper to wrap up a packet of sanitary napkins and slip it inside a black carry bag so that no one can see what’s inside. It’s not merely a habit but something which has got enshrined in the minds. Menstruation has made women feel shameful, suppressed and unclean.
Muslim women are advised not to offer prayers during periods while Hindu women are not allowed to enter temples. Some conservative Hindus do not even allow girls to enter their kitchens denoting them as ‘impure’ those days.
The idea of period leaves sounds outlandish. Period leaves might appear progressive at the beginning but it could put an end to those women who seek opportunities to shine, especially in a male chauvinistic society.
According to a U.N. report, 20 percent of Indian girls drop out of school after reaching puberty. 1 in every 10 girls misses school during her menstruation period in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nepal, women are isolated in menstrual huts during periods. Menstruation has been a barrier for women not just in India but around the world.
It is ironical to see that women here are demanding the right to stay home while there are many being robbed of their fundamental rights because of unavailability of basic needs during menstruation.
Period leaves are foolish ideas which could create discrimination in the workspace. Such discrimination would certainly hinder the progression of women.
On the medical side, menstruation is a painful process and uncomfortable all the time but this could be tackled with proper measures. Some women would claim to argue on endometriosis which is a severe painful condition in which the tissue that normally lines inside of uterus grows outside of it and such issues should be considered on medical leaves and not over period leaves.
This view could be contrarian but the women of our country need a lot more than period leaves. Reduction on tax levied on sanitary napkins and access to those who cannot afford those pads is more significant than period leaves. I think it is necessary to put a period for this period leave policy.