Discussing Menstrual Paid Leave: A discussion thread to share personal experiences and opinions on the topic of paid mentrual leave, We can discuss the pros and cons to understand why some women are hesitant to support paid menstrual leave

Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, expressed her views on menstrual leave during a session in the Rajya Sabha.

During the question hour on Wednesday, Irani responded to a supplementary question from RJD member Manoj Kumar Jha. She emphasized the importance of not denying women equal opportunities based on the viewpoints of those who do not menstruate. Jha mentioned that Bihar was the first state to provide menstrual leave in the early 1990s, followed by Kerala. He then asked the Union minister about measures being taken to ensure employers grant a certain number of paid menstrual leave to female employee …

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I was talking to a friend the other day, a coder and mother of two. She gets severe migraines around the time of her period. And she said, this time she was able to function. As in, she was able to at least get part of her duties done even when she was in pain.

This friend works in a family business and could possibly take a day off without formalities. But she may still to choose to work from home during such a time.

And I mentioned how unfortunate it is that as women, we feel compelled to consistently keep showing up and doing our best even when our bodies are screaming for rest.

Menstrual leave is a tricky subject for many reasons. Most of it, I think, revolves around a lack of open conversations around periods and menstruation. And the stigma associated with such talk.

And the bigger question is, will introducing menstrual leave lead to a widening of this gap? Women who need it might hesitate to take the leave for fear of being seen as incompetent. There also will be the general idea that all women will take it irrespective of whether they need it. And in that case, what does it mean for the workforce?

Is this just about a leave or should it be part of a larger conversation around menstruation?