Bhopal: Working women divided on leave for periods

Some welcome the idea; others argue it would hamper work, reinforce stereotypes

SmitaUpdated: Thursday, June 09, 2022, 07:42 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Working women in the city are divided in their reaction to the demand that they should be granted two days’ ‘periods leave’ every month. Some say that such a facility would be of immense help to the women while others argue that it would only reinforce the stereotypes about women and would lead to loss of productivity.

On Wednesday, the State Congress chief Kamal Nath, took to Twitter to demand from the Shivraj Singh Government that women employees should be given two days’ leave during their menstruation. He also commended a media organisation for extending such a facility to its women employees.

Sindhu Dholpure, counsellor at District Family Court, said that such a decision would be good for working women, especially those whose work involves moving from one place to another. “It is true that some women face problems during their periods, they feel weak, irritable and also have pain. This is bound to affect their work,” she said.

She, however, said we also need to consider whether women would be comfortable applying for such a leave. “If your boss is a woman, it is okay. But if he is a man, many women may find it rather embarrassing to reveal that they are menstruating,” she said.

Working as Programme Officer at Gaurvi One Stop Centre, Soumya Saxena, is opposed to the idea. “Already, so many stereotypes are prevalent about women in our society.

A special leave for periods will only reinforce them,” she said. Soumya added that if a woman is having menstrual cramps or if she is feeling uncomfortable otherwise, she can always seek medical leave.

Rashi Aasvani, Centre Coordinator, Bhopal Childline was emphatic that there is no need for mandatory periods leave for women. “It will affect work and moreover, 70 percent of women do not face any problems during menstruation,” she said. Rashi said.

School teacher Huma Khan said that such a decision would be very welcome but it should be ensured that it is not misused.

‘No need for any leave’

I have been practising gynaecology for the past 30 years. I am of the firm view that there is no need for any leave for periods. Menstruation is a physiological process. It is not an illness. Moreover, any provision for mandatory leave will hurt the women as job opportunities for them would shrink. Nonetheless, those whose periods are painful can always take medical leave, said Dr Shraddha Agarwal, gynaecologist.

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