#PeriodPaath: With No Paid Leaves, I Feel Like I Am In A Cage

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To

The Hon’ble Minister

M/o Law and justice

(D/o Justice)

 Jaisalmer House, 26 Mansingh Road,

New Delhi – 110001

Dated: 30 January, 2020

SubjectOne Day Paid Compulsory Menstrual Leave every month for women.

Respected Sir/ Mam,

I want to bring an important issue into consideration. I am writing this letter based on the researched data of other countries and India. Many people are responsible for making laws in India where two houses, one parliament and president comes together. But I can’t address this issue to each one of them at one go, so I am starting with your department. What exactly you think a woman feels when she is going through her menstrual cycle and still has to go to work that day in severe pain? What kind of cramps and mood swings she goes through? Out of 23.6 % (above age of 15) working women in India, how many according to you take leave on days when it pains the most? Do you think many women can afford unpaid sick leaves when they are the only source of income in family?

Be it women police officers who can’t even share their pain because of this taboo topic or women in call centers who have to work for long hours while sitting at a place, everyone push themselves to next limit and not take leave because their salary will be cut. Symptoms of this 5-day average cycle include acne, stomach ache, irritation and white discharge. These things affect their health and in turn this system and puts gender ratio in danger with so many diseases coming in play. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, Uterine fibroids and many more diseases are possible because of insufficient care of Vagina during periods. Not only that before periods also they have to go through Premenstrual syndrome. Few female doctors even advised exercise while on periods and asked to not sit at home. Countries like Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and Zambia offers 2, 1, 3, 1 days paid menstrual leave respectively to women. USA and European countries are also considering this law. In India ‘Nike brand’ has official paid menstrual leaves for working women and there are few other small companies as well who are trying to give women what they need and deserve. But there are women who really can’t tolerate the pain after certain age, not everyone is young and fit. It’s not about putting these things to attention, it’s about a right which woman should have and they don’t. It’s as important as Right to freedom of speech. 12 days a year is not much compared to what amount of pain a woman face half her life just because of periods.

If not paid leave, then at least work from home facility can be given to women for 1 day.  Proper rest, heating pads and certain vitamins are to be considered when working women is above the age of 35. Giving name of ‘Menstrual leave’ might offend few so-called men. So, if just paid sick leave for a woman in a year can be extended. I on behalf of every working woman will wait for law to take place. One day compulsory paid leave, one day compulsory work from home or extended paid leaves for working women in India. With multiple solutions that I have marked in this letter I hope you will consider one or all of them for the betterment of women and this society.

Thanking You,

Yours Sincerely

Kritika Sahu

Featured image provided by the author.

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