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'Ignorant & Irresponsible': Women After Smriti Irani Says 'No Period Leaves'

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

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Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani came under fire on the internet after she said, "Menstruation or menstrual cycle are not a handicap, it's a natural part of a woman's life journey."

Irani said this in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 13 December, after Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha asked the ruling party about their stand on mandate period leaves for women.

The Bharatiya Janata Party MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women who are seeking more and more economic avenues for themselves.

But Irani's statement has not gone down well with the internet and with people who menstruate.

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Disheartened, Discriminatory: How People Who Menstruate Reacted

Women and menstruators took to X (formerly Twitter) to express their anger and disappointment at Irani's statement.

Rituparna Chatterjee, who goes by @MasalaBai on X said: "So it's okay to discriminate against those who have acute dysmenorrhea rather than making sure companies do not punish women for a debilitating physical condition?"

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

BRS leader Kavitha Kalvakuntla too wrote, "Menstruation isn't a choice; it's a biological reality. Denying paid leave ignores the genuine pain countless women endure."

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

Many others too took to the microblogging platform to say that the statement from the Union Minister was "misogynistic" and "irresponsible."

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

People pointed that every woman's menstrual cycle is different – and that it was 'no surprise' that the minister would ignore that.

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

'How Can You Compare Menstruation to Disability'

Irani said that the Union health ministry was in the process of rolling out a Menstrual Hygiene Policy. The draft of the policy, released in October, however, included leave provisions for menstruating women in workplaces.

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

On the global level, countries like Spain, Japan, and South Korea have provisions for mandatory period leaves.

The BJP MP said that period leaves would deny "equal opportunity" to women seeking economic avenues for themselves.

In India, private companies like Swiggy and Zomato do offer period leaves to their menstruating employees.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Smriti Irani   Menstruation 

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