Stress and Blood. Not at the same time. Support the Menstruation Benefits Bill!

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 The Menstruation Benefit Bill has been filed in the Parliament and is expected to be presented in the current Budget session of the Parliament. The bill seeks to provide women working in the public and private sectors two days of paid menstrual leave every month. The benefits are also extended to female students of Class VIII and above in recognized schools. The Bill also seeks to provide better facilities for menstruating women at the workplace.

The Menstrual Benefits movement has gained fast momentum in India. A lot of women, media, and civil society organizations have begun addressing the difficulties associated with menstruation and demanding paid Menstrual Leave and Benefits.

According to researchers, period pain can be as “bad as having a heart attack.” Given the biological complexity of females and the intense pain they have to suffer, they shall have the right to be entitled to leave during menstruation. In addition, women are least productive during the menstruation, especially on the first and the second days of the menstrual cycle due to unmanageable discomforts. Thus, it may not be much fruitful to the employers in terms of production. Therefore, with both the perspectives of the female employees as well as the employers, Menstrual Leave and Benefits at the workplace is desirable.

Seeing the intense demands and observing the problems of menstruation at the workplace, a question was asked in the Lok Sabha from Ministry of Women and Child Development on provisions of the menstrual leave at the workplace. To no surprise, the ministry replied that there is no such existing provision and there is no such proposal to grant any menstrual leave or introduction of any legislation in this regard.

Based on the comprehensive consultation and extensive research, the Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017 was drafted and filed it in the Parliament.

The amount of public support and media attention the Bill has gained is tremendous. It has proved to be one of the most famous Private Member Bills in last few sessions of the Parliament. In a scenario where a Bill gets huge public attention and triggers a nationwide debate, there is a large possibility of the bill being taken up by the government (with minor modifications). With the help of frequent Parliamentary interventions and large public support, there is a large possibility of the Bill being followed up by Government Legislation on Menstrual Leave and Benefits.

History of paid Menstrual Leave dates back to a period as early as the World War II. Countries like Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Taiwan have been far-sighted regarding the issue and are entitling female employees with menstrual leave. Italy has also proposed a bill on paid Menstrual Leave. Historically, Indian societies have been marked with the feature of vibrant liberalism. A girl’s school in the state of Kerala had granted its students menstrual leave as early as 1912. This financial year, a couple of companies in India have individually introduced the policy of paid Menstrual Leaves for their female employees.

The bill has received attention from across the nation. Besides numerous coverage in print and online media, the bill was the focus of Prime Time debates for the entire week following day when the bill was listed. A number of personalities and celebrities have commented on the bill. Besides, most of the Civil Services Coaching institutions have included this bill in their curriculum. Not only in metros, the issue of a bill on menstrual leave has reached the countryside and people are optimistic regarding the legislation.

The idea of the petition is to advocate the idea of menstruation benefits at the workplace and passing the bill.

In a scenario where a Bill gets huge public attention and support, the government would definitely pass the bill. More number of the petition would be followed up by Government Legislation on Menstrual Leave and Benefits.

Please sign the petition to support the cause.