Menstrual Leave – Regressive or Progressive?
Amity Law School, Amity University, Maharashtra, India.
Volume III, Issue V, 2020
It is unfortunate that even in the 21st century the knowledge about menstruation is quiet little. The people in the society still consider it to be dirty, unholy and unclean. Today, unfortunately it is only a very small percentage of the society that discusses about periods openly. Women from the past few decades have entered the workforce and many young women are still entering and building up their carrier. After struggling for centuries, women are now getting opportunities in various fields of their interest. But even today, a concept like period leave has not been implemented through the laws. It is important for the people to understand the need of period leave. The period leave would benefit the women health wise. Now, the common mistaken fact is that, the period leave would affect the development of the organization and the country economically. Here it is important to understand that developed countries like Japan, have already implemented period leaves through its labor laws few decades ago and it has not affected the development or economy of the country. The Indian Constitution also guarantees that the state can make necessary provisions for the benefit and upliftment of women.
There are some misconceptions about the period leaves that, it would stigmatize periods. Implementation of period leaves would rather remove the taboo on Periods. Women who because of painful periods are taking leave under sick leave can now openly and confidently take leave for periods. Menstruation is not a sickness. Although the policy has certain loopholes like, whether the period leave taken is genuine or not or is being missed by the employee. Definitely, the employer would require to find out solution regarding the same. The legislature in the year 2017 had introduced Menstrual Benefit Act, 2017, however it is still pending in the legislature. Such statutes should be drafted in a way that it fills all the loopholes and turns out to be beneficial for women and transgender as well as the employers.