“When a woman releases seeds from her sac, she procreates life“
Human beings inhale and exhale, but only some human beings menstruate and bring life to earth. Women are built to bear children. The menstrual cycle of bleeding, shedding skin, and rupturing of eggs visits a woman every month and sometimes even more. She is perceived to be unclean when menstruating. In India, the word and discussion of menstruation are still taboo. Breaking the yesteryear shackles, women have pressed foot into educational institutions and workplaces.
The mere identification of a woman for her physical features and attributes seems futile. Inside she is perceived as a hollow log of wood without anyone counting the inner circles expressing her years of facing oppression, battling her physical and mental ailments during menstruation, and the days of social ostracization and denial by family members. Women experience cramps, headaches, fatigue, and nausea during each menstruation cycle. Over the years women have been built this way to endure the same. Menstrual leave came up as a new idea till one woman could survive, and somewhere, society allowed her to discuss it.
Sick leaves are permanent facilities in every company and industry, but this menstrual leave is yet to be an additional provision for menstruating employees. Without proper promulgation, only some private companies have made a provision for their working employees. The prevalence of health insurance is being accepted by the companies as a special provision but they are yet to make period leave a permanent provision.
A healthy body and mind can produce better results than a body withering with pain. Countries like Indonesia, South Africa, and Taiwan have recognized menstrual leave for one to three days per month. These laws are still silent for women who face two consecutive monthly cycles because of irregular periods. This COVID-19 awakened the country to the concept of Health emergencies. To battle endemics and pandemics countries should first take minor steps to deal with natural health impediments first, like “working women and their alarming period pangs” by means of laws and policies.
Why menstrual leave is important?
Women are joining workforces, taking up technical jobs, and entering more comprehensive educational institutions than before. The employer’s role is to understand the benefit of such leave and, most notably the aversions of the same. One day of menstrual leave per month has been suggested by the Tamil Nadu Government in 1992. The leave should be made a three-day one for supporting 48.46% of women’s well-being and health. Not every woman in India goes out to work but if the matter of menstruation is not handled well it often pulls back young girls from continuing their further education and taking up occupations of their choice.
We addressed the importance of health by introducing health leave, and the country should strive to promote a workplace that encourages women and their work. Next time your feet feel unwell with cramps, let your uterus relax amidst all the ejaculating muscles. Rather than comparing all the women population enduring this and still showing up to work it’s time to think about why this injustice is considered a rightful duty to bring in a more gender-neutral society.