With an illiberal society, there is a lot of weights placed on being straightforward and frank, especially with one’s demands and needs. We often take a day off from school to the workplace because we’re on our period and we come up with the best excuse as- stomach ache, fever or headache.
Even talking about ‘Period” or ‘Sanitary Pads’ seems to be so uncomfortable for both men and women. But in the last few years, well for sure after Akshay Kumar’s Movie “Padman” sensitive conversations on periods on public platforms have brought a swell of change that has not only dismissed various myths and superstitions around it but more importantly has dropped the shame to some extent.
After a long time, we can see the period as a regular part of women’s lives, not as a disease. But there is another question that still rises – Is our society has still accepted the concept of ‘Period Leave’.
Recently food delivery services ‘Zomato’ introduced a “Period Leave” policy for women. The company claims that it is a big move to encourage sensitivity in the workplace and suppress any shame or disgrace associated with it.
Well, many people applauded the company for taking such a bold decision, but some didn’t agree as it would sceptically affect the employment opportunities of women.
Deepinder Goyal, CEO of Zomato, said “These leaves should only be availed if you are really unable to attend to work. Do not violate these leaves or use them as a crutch to take time out for other pending tasks. Take Care of yourself-regular focus on fitness and diet has a positive impact on every bit of your physical and mental health”.
The word “Really” indicates that you have to prove your HR that you are “Really” not able to attend work! It seems that even after taking the first step towards “Period Leave” he mentioned other points such as to “Take Care”, not to use the policy as a “crutch” and to ensure that women are both mentally and physically healthy by exercising and taking proper diet so that you won’t suffer any menstrual cramps or pain!
The problem isn’t is his statement, the problem is a man with no uterus and with no experience of periods is suggesting instead explaining how menstruation works and bits of advice like taking Care of body and mind will help not to make period leave unnecessarily.
With the changing trends and so many debated about “Feminism” and “Women Equality” it’s high time that people should consider introducing a law that makes it mandatory for employers to grant women menstrual leave.
“Companies making someone work through the pain is not just horrible but it also set a wrong example for the entire work culture. All the private sector companies should come up with “Period Leave” policy. It’s not about women rights or women equality but if a company wants their employees to give their best then they first need to be at their best in health-wise” Says Lipsa Raulo, an employee in Prelude, BBSR.
Back in 2017, Congress Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering introduces “ The Menstruation Benefits Bill in which women employed by both public and private companies enrolled with the Central and State governments would have been authorized to two days of menstrual leave every month which would amount to 24 days of vacation annually. While the Zomato policy is of 10 days of period leaves as per year.
This topic will be a debatable as half will agree and half won’t especially specific section of the male population, who will always oppose any law intended to favour women. Some people will still give some sexist comments and speculate as to whether women are ‘Faking it’.
Not only men but a section of women also don’t support the concept of period leave. Journalist Barkha Dutta argued that period leave is an idiotic idea as she can cover war on her periods and other women should work in the office while on period. She twitted – “Sorry Zomato, as woke as your decision on #PeriodLeave is, this is exactly what ghettoizes women and strengthens biological determinism..”
With so many arguments and debates, the whole world should make a full stop on the period debate.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
Image Source: Google