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Menstrual leave idea finds support in Bengaluru

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Menstrual leave idea finds support in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, (DHNS): A petition addressed to the central government is seeking menstrual leave for women across the country. Two companies — one in Mumbai and another in Kerala — are already giving leave to women on the first day of their period.

Digital media company Culture Machine, based in Mumbai, was the first to announce additional leave for women to help them cope with the discomfort of menstruation. The leave is granted over and above the other leave employees are entitled to.

The petition, seeking a menstrual leave policy to cover women employees in all sectors, is addressed to Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Human Resources Development, and Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Child Welfare. The campaign is garnering wide support. Professionals and HR heads interviewed by DH welcomed the idea.

“Personally speaking, I have grown resistant to the cramps, but I have seen colleagues who are distracted by the pain,” said Apoorva Gowda, manager at a private bank.

Ramya, who works in a software company, said the leave would usher in ‘great change’. “We will not have to take any more sick leaves. We can be open about the reason,” she said.

Sitara, who works in the human resources department of an IT company, said, “Most companies such as ours already provide a work-from-home option. Women can choose this option instead of actually taking a full day off. Being a woman, I understand the pain completely, so if the policy is implemented, it is a definite relief.” But she said she could do without it too.

Devleena Majumdar, HR head of Culture Machine, said, “The thought was triggered when one of our employees was having a really bad day because of the cramps. We thought about taking period pain seriously and speaking up for women experiencing it.”

The reaction of the male employees at Culture Machine was supportive. “As we move towards a more progressive and inclusive work space, it is high time companies started talking about menstruation as a natural process,” she said.

Ruchir Joshi, head of content, Culture Machine, said, “A lot of time I find men complaining ‘she gets a period and gets a day off’. If we were to have that kind of discomfort, then we would not be doing any work either.”

Countries like Taiwan, Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea already allow female staff leave during their menstrual cycle.

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