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An Indian Company Leads by Example, Offers Menstrual Leave

The company desires the rest of the women in India to have the same right as the women at Culture Machine

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Menstrual leave for working women. Pixabay
Working Woman. Pixabay

July 26, 2017: A Mumbai based media company, Culture Machine, is offering women the opportunity to take the menstrual leave on their first day of periods. The new policy is in the bid to become more female friendly.

The company which currently employs 75 women has also launched a campaign petitioning other companies to do the same. Recently, they released a video featuring some of its female employees talking about how they feel on the first day of periods.

The petition has so far been signed by over 23,000 people and delivered to India’s Ministry of Woman and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development.

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The company writes, “Everyone knows that men and women are biologically different. However, the real progress of the human civilisation can only occur when we understand and honour these differences”.

“It’s no secret that period cramps are the worst, but over the years women have had to show up at work and mask their pain with silly excuses,” it goes on.

It further asks “Why should menstruation, for instance, an integral biological process that a woman goes through in her lifetime, be kept hidden?”.

The company desires the rest of the women in India to have the same right as the women at Culture Machine.

Studies conducted by a professor of reproductive health at University College London, and published earlier this year revealed that period pain can be as painful as a heart attack.

Countries already having menstrual leave policies at the workplace are Japan, China, and Taiwan.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94

Next Story

Women, do the math and own those five days

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image source: www.fyqyfz.com

By Swara Bhaskar

I skulked home one afternoon from school in a particularly muggy hot Delhi summer month and spent the day cursing fate that I was born a girl. I was 14 years old, in class ninth and had just discovered that my period, the first two awful days (!), were going to coincide with the two days of the annual Leadership Training Camp (LTC) that all class monitors were eligible to attend

The LTC was an exciting and prestigious camp, which only elected student representatives of each class and two nominees were invited to, where through a series of interactive games and sessions with teachers and guest lecturers, students learnt the values of leadership. I had hoped to attend the camp for some years and finally that year I was one of the elected class monitors.

I was excited and bouncing my way through the school corridors till the tell tale stain showed up and all joy was deflated. I spent the afternoon sulking at home. In the evening, my father came home from work. (My mother at the time was pursuing her Ph.D course work in New York, so my father and I, out of sheer necessity, had developed a fairly candid relationship about matters of menstruation!)

He enquired after my long face, and I told him I had to skip the LTC which was the next and the day after. “Why,” he asked. “Because I am starting my period tomorrow,” I answered.

“So?,” he asked

“So I can’t go,” I said. “Why,” he asked again. “Because!” I said, “It’s going to be my first two days…”

“So?” He persisted. The ‘why so’ game was getting to me. “Papa” I snapped. “I can’t be running around playing the games and doing rigorous activities during my ‘down time’.”

“You mean you are physically or medically incapable of doing physical activity at this time?” My persistent father continued to interrogate.

“Oh God, Papa, why don’t you understand? It’s irritating and awkward. What if something happens” (Something was the unspeakable horror that plagued all young girls and women and probably still does, through their entire fertile years)

The fear of ‘something’. Read: What if the tell-tale stain appeared! “Hmmm” Said my father thoughtfully, “Let’s work this out exactly. So these two days you will skip LTC. Then next month again, in those two days you may have to skip something else. So every year, two into twelve is twenty four days of skipping.”

He went on. “You are fourteen now and will probably have periods for the next thirty years, so that’s twenty four into thirty. Seven hundred and twenty days. That’s 17,280 total hours of missing out on things you want to do in life. Only because you were scared that ‘something’ may happen.”

I was stumped. The math seemed accurate and the logic solid. For want of words, I made a face. My gruff father, cleared his throat, “Look your mother would deal with these things better and would know better. I’m a man but it seems a little ridiculous to waste so many precious active days and hours over something that is natural, and happens to half the world population at some point in their life every month.”

He continued in the same vein. “It’s your body and it’s a natural process. Own it instead of hating it or fearing it. And own these two or three or five days. They are as much yours as the other days of the month. But then again, I’m a man. I don’t know about these things.”

I made another face, and stuck my hand out. What, he asked. Give me Rs.150.

Why, he said? “I have to buy sanitary pads, what else, I have to pack for tomorrow”.

Thanks Papa, You taught your daughter a precious lesson that day, to own her body. It’s a natural process and we must own those five days in the month, like every other moment in our life. A lesson I have been applying till today, be it when I have a shoot or have to attend an event.

It’s incredible that sanitary pad brands in India highlight the importance of menstrual management and hygiene that encourages us girls to be confident, unstoppable and not treat those five days as taboo. Seriously girls, just do the math. (IANS)