Addressed to Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka.
To whomsoever this may concern,
My name is Meghna Deshmukh, a past resident of Bangalore.
I would first start off by saying that I appreciate the work you are doing to inspire and help women entrepreneurs. In today’s time, it is important for women to be financially important, and encouraging women to run their own small scale businesses is definitely the right step. However, looking after their health is also paramount, especially during times of menstruation. Many studies show that period cramps can be as dangerous as a heart attack and that many women face discrimination if they want to take leave due to menstruation. This is a huge problem.
If I may offer a suggestion to hold menstrual management workshops for various corporate houses. This will not only be helpful for female employees but also to the overall productivity of staff in any firm. The workshop can also help female colleagues to support each other during that time of the month.
I worked in a startup for a year and there were times I would be in excruciating pain due to menstrual cramps. Unfortunately, our workplace didn’t allow for a menstrual leave but thanks to my boss being a female, she understood the inconvenience of the situation and I was allowed to take half a day’s leave if the situation got really bad. Also, a few months into the job, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and it was my colleagues who suffer from the same that taught me about the disorder and gave me advice as to how to manage its symptoms. However, not many women have the privilege of understanding coworkers neither do many companies in India have a policy regarding menstruation.
Hence, having a workshop that educates the corporate on the importance of menstrual leave, and having a menstrual policy will create a much safer and equal work environment for women.
Despite us being two decades into the 21st century, menstruation is still considered to be a taboo in the country despite being a natural process. It is important that NGOs that support women create a safe environment during periods, only then will other corporate houses follow.