The month of July will be a special for the female employees of Culture Machine Media Pvt Ltd, a media start-up based in Mumbai. As it has taken up an initiative to grant paid-leave to women on the first day of their periods.
“First day of period is uncomfortable for women. It is a reality that we need to face. Culture Machine has been at the forefront of propagating awareness around women through its women oriented digital channel ‘Blush’. Blush is all about celebrating being a woman,” said Devleena S Majumdar, president, Human Resource, Culture Machine.
The company has also written a petition to the Human Resource Ministry asking for the same. “This policy is a step towards empowering women to be their prime selves, keeping up with our natural biological cycle will help bring out greater creativity and productivity and thus help maximise the well-being of all employees,” added Majumdar.
Gozoop, a digital media agency in Mumbai has granted this leave to their employees since the month of March. “The idea of menstrual leave has come into existence over the years after listening to fellow female co-workers on how happy they would be if have a day off on their period days. Also, the male entrepreneurs understand the need for period leave in their organisation and encourage the same in their system and to others,” said Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, CEO & Co-Founder, Gozoop.
Working with menstrual congestion or pain is annoying for a woman. While we speaking about menstrual hygiene, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Roshni has moved a step further to make the first day of period as a paid leave in professional organisations.
“We are looking forward to make a petition and meet the ministers in the coming week to grant the first day of period as leave. Menstruation shouldn’t be a taboo. Women have been suffering this pain since many years now. So, we are petitioning to make the lives of women easier with such a move,” said Pravin Nikam, founder of Roshni, an NGO that focuses on creating awareness about menstrual hygiene.
Doctors on the other hand say that it is a physiological and biological cycle and that’s how it should be treated. “I am sure every woman would want to keep these details private. Getting a leave on the day would mean more people coming to know about her periods. Moreover, it’s a normal physiological need and it should be treated as a normal phenomenon,” said Dr Neeta Warty, gynaecologist at Breach Candy Hospital.
A lot of countries in Asia as well as western countries have granted menstrual leave. The country to grant it most recently in March 2017 was Italy. China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan have allotted menstrual leave for woman.