Is Period Leave Regressive? All Arguments We Hear So Often

Is period leave regressive?

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Period Leave - The debate is on, once again!

After Zomato announced their period leave policy, social media has been flooded with discussions around the same. While some organisations are still up and against the idea of hiring women, questioning their output, still trying to bridge the gender pay gap, and providing maternity leaves … amidst all this, does period leave come across as regressive? Or is it something that should be considered on medical grounds?

Here are a few arguments we hear about period leave.

Arguments Against Sick Leave

What an old fashioned idea! On one hand, we fight for equal treatment at the workplace and on other hand we are making periods an issue. Women athletes participate in sports without caring about whether it’s “that time of the month for them”. What’s this hypocrisy? Just take sick leave? Almost all the organisations give 12 days of sick leave anyway - if you aren't feeling well, use those?

Biological discrimination - that's exactly how we bracket jobs too. One question that most employers tend to ask the "just married" women they plan to hire is, "Are you planning a family any time soon?" At the interview stage there's bias and then they will think she will also be missing from work for 10 extra days? We've been fighting these biases since so long, why ruin all of that when women are somewhat at a better place professionally than before?

I can work through my period and menstrual disorders aren't very common. In most cases, you can easily pop a painkiller and work through your period. Not like women all these years haven’t done that?

Women could misuse period leaves just because they are entitled to take it. And what happens in cases when you accidentally get your period twice in a cycle? How will you implement it?

I don't want the world to know that I am on my period and I need a leave and in turn reinforce all those stereotypes against women and things like , "Oh, she's on her period. She can't make a rational decision."

Arguments For Sick Leave 

Sick leave and period leave aren't the same. This has got nothing to do with, "Oh if you're such a feminist, why do you want period leaves? What about equality?" Feminism doesn't change the fact that biologically women and men are different.

Do you think maternity leave is also a bad idea? No, right? We can't expect a woman who's just given birth to join work - it's a process, the body takes time to heal so it's a must... doesn't make her a bad worker, right? Yeah, we can't say period leave and maternity leave are the same... but they are both for biological reasons and no, sick leave is an option for both sexes. What are the chances if a woman has a fracture, use up the sick leaves and need an off day because her period is ALWAYS VERY painful? Some women have menstrual disorders like dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, PCOS…there are so many reasons for more painful periods.

CHOICE!! That's the thing here - why are we so afraid to give women that choice - if you are in pain, why should a woman not have the choice to take a day off and rest? Do you know studies have found that period pain is equivalent to the kind of pain you feel during a heart attack? Maybe that should give these people an estimate of roughly what it feels like.

Cameraperson: Athar Rather

Video Editor: Ashish Maccune

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