Thiruvananthapuram: In a pioneering decision, the Kerala government on Monday said it would grant menstrual leave for female students studying in all state universities coming under the Department of Higher Education.
Taking a cue from the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in providing menstrual leave to its students, Higher Education Minister R Bindu said the government has decided to implement the same in all state universities under the purview of the department.
"Taking into consideration the mental and physical difficulties faced by female students during menstruation, necessary steps will be taken to implement menstrual leave in all universities," she said in a Facebook post.
Hailing the decision taken by the Cochin University recently, she said it was for the first time in Kerala that an educational centre has given menstrual leave to students.
CUSAT had taken the decision following a representation made by the SFI-led students' union of the university. Considering the long-pending demand of the students, the varsity, on January 11, had sanctioned an additional two per cent condonation of shortage of attendance to female students, in each semester.
She also praised the students' union for taking up such an initiative and said "the menstrual leave model will be rolled out in universities across state".
"It is most gratifying to see the success of the student leadership and the university leadership working together to create a befitting continuation of the ongoing women empowerment activities initiated by the Department of Higher Education," the minister said.
Bindu added that menstrual periods are days of emotional roller coaster for many. "Let the girls relax during the difficult days of their menstrual cycle," she said.
An autonomous university, CUSAT has over 8,000 students in various streams and more than half of them are girls.
"Having considered the requests for menstruation benefits to female students, the Vice-Chancellor has ordered to sanction an additional 2 per cent of condonation of shortage of attendance to female students, in each semester, subject to reporting to the Academic Council," a recent order issued by the joint registrar of CUSAT had said.
The order would be applicable to female students of all streams, including those pursuing PhD, in the university and is expected to be implemented with immediate effect.
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