Both Sides of The Period Leave Policy's Bloody Debate


Both Sides of The Period Leave Policy's Bloody Debate

Periods are subjective experiences in and of themselves, and not all women have them in the same way. Some women have heavy periods, while others have light periods; some women have weekly periods, while others have three-day periods; some women have significant menstrual cramping, while others are fortunate enough to have minimum to no pain during their periods. When it comes to menstruation, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The period leaves argument was sparked by Zomato's new policy of providing each woman with ten days of annual period leave.

Many countries, including Taiwan, Zambia, Indonesia, and South Korea, already provide paid period absences to female employees. There are a variety of viewpoints on the period-leave question, including whether the relief it affords women suffering from dysmenorrhea, a condition in which women have severe cramping and agony during their periods, is worth it.

Many companies like Zomato and Culture Machine have tried to introduce period leaves as a method to destigmatize menstruation and to make an empathetic policy for women employees. However, female population has opposing views on period leaves.

Welcoming & Progressive

Some feminists have praised the move, calling it progressive and forward-thinking. This decision has also been praised for its ability to normalise period cramps and the discomfort that they create. Working women have had to keep their period pains hidden for long periods of time, or take sick leave for their period pains, leaving them with no sick leave for when the need arises. Many people have cited historical examples, citing how comparable opposition was shown to maternity leave in the past, and how it has since become a standard and necessary practice.

Further Appreciation

The Supreme Court of India overturned a decades-long prohibition on menstruation women attending the Sabarimala temple in Kerala's southern state, sparking a nationwide debate about women's rights. By at least normalising a dialogue about menstruation, the new period-leave regulation has hastened the improving status of period leaves in the country.

Many advocates of the policy have praised how period leaves symbolise the story of women with polycystic ovaries and endometriosis, who have particularly painful periods. Women who have serious period pain are thus accounted for in the business structure, where their demands are met automatically in the form of menstrual leave.

Gender-biasness & Unequal Opportunities

On the other hand, many women (and men) have argued against taking period leaves. They are concerned that this will make cis women appear to prefer the weaker gender, denying them equal employment prospects and promotions. Many feminists have also taken pride in their menstrual cycles, rejecting to be labelled as a "disease."

Menstrual leaves like this contribute to the gendering of the workplace, making it more difficult for women to advance in their careers and obtain senior positions. They may contribute to a culture or mindset in which women are less likely to be hired due to their biology. Period leaves may be just another way to alienate women from the labour (which is already declining, with only 23% of women participating), and may be contradictory to women's efforts to achieve equality in the workplace.

Biological Essentialism

Barkha Dutt, one of India's most well-known journalists and a woman who has repeatedly shattered the glass ceiling, has voiced her own strong feelings on the subject. A strategy like this, she claims, will only ghettoise women and foster biological essentialism in the workplace. 

She has admitted to being a victim of a variety of problems as a woman in the male-dominated media sector, and how they have impacted her trajectory as a top-ranked journalist. There has been a significant argument made against the generalisation of women who require menstruation leave.

My Personal Two Cents

Personally, I believe that the term "period leave" may cause more harm than good, despite the fact that it is a tremendously progressive and reformist move. My concern is not with the idea of de-stigmatizing periods and catering to women's needs, but with how a leave like this will be implemented in the quest to make the workplace more fair for women. 

While biological distinctions exist and must be recognised, the concept of period leaves highlights these disparities in a nuanced, explicit, and forthright way. As a result, women will be subjected to greater levels of discrimination or discriminatory treatment.

I personally do not want people to know when I'm menstruating unless I'm in excruciating agony or suffering. This viewpoint is based on the subtle effects that occur when I bring up my periods, rather than a desire to sweep the topic of periods under the rug. People are more inclined to speak to me with additional politeness, and my entire conduct and actions will be attributed to my periods.


Many women and legislators have attempted to bridge the gap between those who want period leave and those who are opposed to the idea. They have proposed other possibilities like increasing the number of sick leaves for both men and women. An initiative like this in my opinion prevents an office culture based on the biology of a woman and also ensuring equality. Offices can provide provisions such as beds, resting areas, infirmaries, hot water bottles, and hot water for women who experience pain and would like relief from the pain. 

A conversation on how to make a sensitive policy, that includes women workers who suffer from endometriosis and PCOS is necessary as it will create a workspace that is inclusive and adjusts the opinions of all.

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