Menstrual leave is a critical as well as the neglected subject in India. Bihar is the only state in India which has been providing two days of special leave every month to its female employees since 1992.
The issue of menstrual leave recently gained attention when Ninong Ering, a member of Lok Sabha from Arunachal Pradesh, moved a Private Member’s Bill, ‘The Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017’, which laid down a proposal for two days of paid menstrual leave to every woman working in the public and private sectors.
Countries like Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Taiwan provide menstrual leave to their female employees every month. Most women suffer from pain, cramps, nausea, heavy bleeding etc during their menstruation. The pain and serious fatigue conditions suffered by women during menstruation negatively affect their quality of life. The plethora of studies indicate that pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) significantly reduces the occupational productivity in women.
Doctors across the globe acknowledge that dysmenorrhoea or menstrual cramps can be as painful as heart attacks. However, some women do experience very little or no pain during their menstruation and it is inappropriate for such women who go through not so painful periods to generalise their experience of menstruation for the rest of the women.
Women are biologically different from men and menstrual leave is unquestionably an equitable approach. But, menstrual leave is contended to be discriminatory which permits the women employees to avail more leave than their male counterparts.
Source: Deccan Herald