Kerala has always been a front-runner when it comes to some breath-taking economic and social changes. It has paved the way with its liberal views such as the recently held nation’s first ever transgender beauty contest. Now, the Kerala government is contemplating on providing the women employees a period leave.
In a step that shall boost women empowerment, Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan told the state assembly that there are certain sections of our society which still considers menstruating women “impure”.
“Women are suffering various physical difficulties during the time of menstruation. Now, debates on period leave are coming up. Serious debates should happen on the matter considering menstruation as a biological process.”
The chief minister also said that the matter of period leaves for women was also being discussed. Many foreign nations such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and some provinces of China give period leave to women employees.
He further added,
“We used to discuss about the security and harassment of women in work place. We have to give due consideration to their menstrual and reproductive health care also.”
Granting period leave, if implemented, will be a welcome move by the state of Kerala and will allow other states to come out of the closet and progressively follow suit. Despite the menstruation process being is a natural one, it is still deemed taboo in many conservative sections of our society. Women go through great ordeals when periods begin such as body pains, severe cramps, nausea and vomiting. Coming to work under such circumstances becomes an arduous task, as they suffer silently. Many employees who go through these (without periods such as in viral infections) take leaves, so it is also possible for those who are in period. Taking painkillers every month for years is not a feasible option. So, granting a leave, atleast on the first day, will make a big difference to the workforce, that is increasingly being represented by the fairer sex.
There is also an online petition for period leave right here.