Menstruation needs to be discussed openly instead of closed doors
Given the difficulties and biological complications that women face during menstruation, I think it is very important that such a bill is passed soon and women are given every right to take advantage of this holiday if needed.
Dr Satywan Saurabh
Indian food distribution giant Zomato has recently announced a new period leave 'policy on August 8, with a view to removing the false and unbridled stigma and shame of menstruation, thereby accelerating the discourse of this dirty thinking society. To be overcome, This policy, which allows 10 additional holidays a year for all menstruating women employees, including transgender individuals, has been shown to widen the gap between people on the issue during the debate on social media.
In the changing times, India has seen some progressive changes in recent times and it is expected that in the coming days we will lead the world in the progressive list. However, there are some issues which have always been far from being discussed in our country and one such issue is that of menstruation in women, which is commonly called periods. In a country like India, it is very difficult to have an open discussion about it because people here feel very uncomfortable while talking about it openly, but discussing it behind closed doors is the most preferred thing in life.
In retrospect, during the debate on the menstrual benefit bill by Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh, the most important part of Women's life was discussed publicly. During this time, extensive discussion began on the need for a menstrual leave policy to work every month.
According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization, 70 percent of all reproductive diseases in India are considered to be the cause of poor menstruation, hygiene. According to the report of the National Family Health Survey, even today 62% of girls and women in India use clothes during menstruation and 28% of adolescents do not go to school during menstruation. Chemical sanitary pads (which many women rely on) are known to cause various ailments, including diabetes, allergies, and skin reactions.
The Menstrual Benefit Bill advocates for women working in the public and private sectors to have two days of menstrual leave every month, as well as better facilities to rest at the workplace during menstruation. Its benefit will also be given to female students of class VIII and above in government recognized schools across the country. However, before this, the state of Kerala had allowed the girls' school to give menstrual leave to its students since 1912, and since 1992 women were given 'special casual leave' for two days in Bihar.
If such a bill now comes, then it needs to include girls and women in every sector, industry, profession, job roles, and not just for particular women working in white-collar jobs. This bill should be uniformly introduced for all women, girls in blue, white, pink, golden, and collar jobs. While discussing/arguing about this, it is important that no woman or girl be sided with and focus only on the female race as women of all classes, irrespective of their type of work, menstruate Are part of their lives.
Different bodies respond differently to the pain and discomfort experienced during menstruation. Given the difficulties and biological complications that women face, I think it is very important that such a bill is passed soon and women are given every right to avail of this leave if needed.
When talking about the Bill, it is necessary to take into account certain medical conditions that are associated with menstruation such as menorrhagia, endometriosis, fibroids pelvic inflammatory disease, etc. A section of women is not in favour of this bill because they believe that such legislation will increase prejudice against them at the workplace and require them to deal with unfair treatment such as prejudice, low pay, slow promotion, and low participation.
This needs to change today. Women should not be held guilty for their biological structure. If we find our selfishness in the silence of women, then we are definitely moving the cycle of patriarchy. It is important to remind ourselves that when we talk of equality at the workplace it means that there is equality of all working conditions for men and women. Therefore, if a woman finds it difficult to work in a situation that is not under her control, then she should be allowed to take advantage of this holiday.
It is imperative that for such a law to be strict, the negotiations around it need to be done openly. These are the right times to break the cycle of prejudice against women at the workplace, so to pass this bill successfully, it is very important that we incorporate a sensitive, well-rounded, and carefully planned policy into it.
In a country where girls are isolated from family during menstruation. Somewhere the temple, somewhere the kitchen is forbidden, and it is seen with disgust, it will be very difficult to propose for the 'menstrual holiday' policy but still, it will be a very necessary and women-friendly step in the right direction.
"Today, men across the country desperately need to understand and adopt Jomato's message -In which women colleagues are said not to be uncomfortable on leave. And told that menstruation is a part of women's lives, and we need to trust them until we fully understand what women go through in these days. When she says she needs to rest, men should realize how painful menstrual cramps are for a lot of women - and we should support them at a time when only we can truly build a supportive culture.
The writer is Research Scholar in Political Science, Delhi University