What Is The Youth Ki Awaaz On A Paid Menstrual Leave For Women?

Posted by Lipi Mehta in Menstruation
June 10, 2018

Over the last many months, a debate has taken over the Indian internet since some companies initiated a two-day period leave policy. Journalist Barkha Dutt took a fierce stand against it, saying, “‘First-day period leave’ may be dressed up as progressive, but it actually trivializes the feminist agenda for equal opportunity, especially in male-dominated professions.” A lot of people actually disagreed with this – one of them being stand-up artist Daniel Fernandes who said, “Period pain is extremely personal and the best approach to this is to let each woman decide their own threshold of tolerance and give them the option of taking the day off if needed.”

We asked you, our Youth Ki Awaaz community, what you think of a period leave policy, and got overwhelming responses. Here are some excerpts:

1. Ruchika Thakur Saklani: On one side u talk about woman equality n other side u were talking about period leave….. No way

2. Pragya Mishra: How is period leave an antithesis of women equality?

If you have your Periods cramp free, you are one helluva lucky woman. I have the worst cramps ever during the 1st two days. Sometimes they are so bad that I can’t even get up from the bed. To expect women to work through this kind of pain in the name of equality is a flawed logic

3. Dipinty Ghosal: There are many who will take undue advantage of this

If you allow leaves, every day some woman employee will be on leave. Also, there are many who will take undue advantage of this, since there is no way to check. 2 leaves per month is equivalent to 24 leaves in a year, which is more than number of earned leaves of an employee. Instead, they can avail work from home. Or If the cramps are too much, try consulting a doctor. Exercise regularly, eat healthy to have healthy and stress free periods!

4. Pooja Khera: The choice should be left with women.

Every woman responds differently to her period. It’s not like a one size fits all. But yes in a society that so needs to be more considerate to women, this could be a small move.

5. Akhilesh Rathi: You can’t expect the same pay

Do You people think the same about your domestic help/maids? Let her not come for 1 day and you know how people behave.You can use your sick leaves, all purpose leaves etc. But taking additional separate leaves means less time spent in the workplace. So naturally you can’t expect the same pay.

6. Arpita Gupta: “Then it’s not profitable to hire women”

Not at all required to be made compulsory, take a sick leave if you feel that much pain, rather than making a special period leave, because then it’s not profitable for the employers to hire women. Let’s take this issue practically, rather than emotionally.

7. Shibani Basak: “Making it compulsory is absurd and degrading”

Should be an option. Many women have it too painful to work. Then a lot of women are fully functional just like the rest of the month. Making it compulsory is absurd and degrading towards women. Menstruation is not the reason for leave, the associated pain is , hence should be sick leave. But yeah, if asked what sickness, should be able to say menstrual pain and not diarrhoea.

8. Steve Manjaly: “Could create a problem with male employees”

From a purely economic point of view, I think period leaves would make having female employees less profitable, all though, having 50 percent of the staff taking an extra day off randomly, won’t affect the productivity much. But this could create a problem with the male employees, as they would feel they’re being treated unfairly, and could possibly lead to a decrease in morale, which could be solved by giving an extra 1 day off, which brings us back to, well, equal number of paid leaves for all. I think, it would be better, if people used their paid leaves in a month, it could be workout fine. I mean, not every woman wants to take a leave when they have their periods. I’m not a woman, so I can’t be sure, but from what I’ve heard and read, it varies, so…

What is your opinion? Should paid menstrual leaves be a part of workplace policies across India? Comment and share your opinion, or publish your view by clicking on ‘Add a post’ on youthkiawaaz.com.