Period leave is a concept hitherto unheard of in India. Yet it went viral on social media minutes after a Mumbai media firm promised it to female employees on the first day of their period.
We at Pune365 believe that companies and the public at large must be sensitised to the discomfort that women go through during this phase and this is the large picture..
We decided that it was not only important for us to implement this option within our organisation but also do our bit to have more organisations adopt this across their offices.
Since company rule books do not traditionally classify period discomfort under sick leave, we thought it important to implement this ‘optional paid leave’ for our team. We are happy to provide this option of taking the day off should they need it.
Aditi Balsaver of Team365 spoke to a cross section of working professionals in Pune to get their views on period leave..
Sudha Menon : 50, Author and Biographer
“I’m sure it will be such a blessing for so many women. I suffered from menstrual cramps all through my younger days. A reporter’s job meant that I was on my feet all day and that made my cramps worse. Menstrual pain and distress is a very real thing for many women.
Having said that, I think this shouldn’t be mandatory but an optional leave. If you suffer on a day, avail the leave. Many women don’t have any problems or cramps during their periods at all. Making such things mandatory is likely to make it tougher for women to get employment because employers will look at candidates who don’t have such issues.”
Jyoti Nahak : 22, Assistant Music Manager
I detest it when guys say, ‘That’s okay, it happens every month. What is the big deal?’
I feel like screaming- ‘Excuse me! No uterus, no opinion please!’
A day’s respite is very important. We need a day of pampering so we could just rest, binge on comfort food and watch movies as we weep. Basically, a day to do whatever makes us feel better and hurt less! During her period, every girl feels bloated and at times we feel like we are looking ugly. We need a day to stay home nursing a hot water bag and look ugly in peace.
Mehak Marwah : 27, Marketing Manager
It’s great that we have finally started talking about “it“. The taboo around menstruation is ridiculous! I mean on one hand, men crudely comment that a girl must be ‘PMS’ing each time she’s angered. But on the other, chemists do everything short of bubble wrapping menstrual supplies prior to handing it over to us! This taboo must be lifted and I wish my company would implement this.
Leena Bhati : 26, Chocolatier
Why only the first day? I know for a fact that many girls go through severe pain for three to four days. One in three women have fibroids or PCOD (Polycystic ovarian disease) today. This ensures that we suffer intense stomach cramps and body ache. They should consider two days at the very least if not four, as it is very inconvenient to use public restrooms during these days. Some of us tend to be quite moody and cranky too, which can affect our work.
Priya Raheja : 26, Business Development Manager
Paid leave on the first day of a women’s menstrual cycle! Now we’re getting somewhere.
If you look at it tangibly, the pain does affect productivity. So, if a girl cannot concentrate due to excessive bleeding and weakness, isn’t it better to give her the time to recuperate? I myself feel low and depressed at time due to hormonal changes and have a killer headache, so a leave would be welcome.
Sonal Balsaver : 35, Systems Project Head
When I heard of a paid leave on the first day of a woman’s period I thought it was amazing. After all, why shouldn’t women get a leave when they’re floored by Mother Nature’s monthly offering? It will definitely ease the physical discomfort we go through during menstruation. I feel if we take a small break and come back refreshed we can surely give our best at work. I totally support the initiative and believe that it could be an eye opener for many other companies.
Reha Pillay : 27, Visa and Ticketing
It can be quite difficult to explain to a male boss as to why you can’t make it to work that day. Imagine saying, ‘I’m bleeding profusely, but no sweat, I do so every month!’ A no-questions asked leave is exactly what we need!