Should India Have a Menstrual Leave Policy?

The new menstrual leave policy taken up by Zomato is not only progressive but also inclusive! Here is why!

A few days ago, one of India’s biggest delivery services Zomato, announced a new policy for menstrual leave. The company has over 5,000 employees, out of which 35% are womxn. The company’s new policy is to give its female employees paid “period leave”. The policy clearly states that women employees can take up to one leave per menstrual cycle, so in total it adds up to 10 days per year. Do you want to know what the best part of this policy is? It is all-inclusive. Transgender employees have the option of availing this leave as well. This shows the forward-thinking mindset of the company.

How many of us have woken up one morning after a night of uncomfortable to no sleep on our periods, dreading the fact that we have to go to work? Wondering if the pain is worth sacrificing a day of sick leave that we might have to save for another emergency. Cramps, pain, and mood swings are all a natural part of a menstrual cycle. Yes, female anatomy and male anatomy is different. So, there are certain biological phenomena that both sexes go through, that the other will not understand, no matter how hard they try.

This initiative should be looked at in a positive light, for it helps eradicate the stigma associated with periods. Periods and menstruation are a natural part of life, there is nothing remotely irregular or nasty about it.
“At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth, and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year,” Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a blog post.

We should look at this initiative as progressive and welcome it with open arms. There are so many days, where women pop a pain killer, and despite its ineffectiveness work through the pain. This could actually cause the individual to make more mistakes and also reduce their work efficiency. Which then doubles the workload later on.

Inclusivity and progressiveness is the foundation of this new policy. The policy allows transgender womxn permission to avail of this leave. This removes the discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. Previously, workspaces would not acknowledge the fact that trans womxn, although not anatomically womxn by birth, choose to associate and address themselves as womxn. Now that Zomato has decided to provide this leave for the trans community, the previous stigma is slowly being eradicated. This accelerative step taken by Zomato should encourage others to do the same.

Womxn should not feel ashamed while asking for leave or talking about periods. We should keep in mind that if we are not physically healthy, we will not be able to give 100% to our work. A pain-free and relaxed womxn can bring so much more to the table than one who is riddled in pain. This policy allows womxn to take a day off to take care of themselves and their bodies. Instead of worrying about working, and stressing about applying for leave, womxn can take the time they deserve off to recuperate and come back to work with a healthier body and mind. Ready to give it their all!

Since womxn don’t speak up about their struggle with menstruation, society continues to believe that it is not an issue. It is still considered as one of the hush topics that should not be discussed. Men feel uncomfortable when it’s spoken about, and women feel ashamed to discuss with their male colleagues. That’s the stigma that we, the womxn of today need to break.

There is nothing nasty about menstruating, and there’s nothing we should feel ashamed about. Men, although may not be able to understand, should now begin to empathize with us, womxn. The only way to get them to do this is if we talk about it. Explain to your partners, friends, family, what you actually go through. For if you speak up, maybe they will understand.

“You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day.”, is what the founder said. And this is a policy we should follow in all parts of our life. We should feel free to speak about it.

Millions of womxn and young girls face issues and discrimination due to a lack of awareness about menstruation. Now, it’s our job to make sure that does not continue to happen. So, let’s stand in support with Zomato and encourage others to do the same.

If you have any thoughts on this topic. We would love to get your input on the same. If you want to share a story with us, we would love to hear it. So feel free to drop a comment in the box below and we’ll have a chat!
For all you beautiful women out there, Fuzia is the right platform for you. It’s a community of women supporting one another to be the best and achieve the best. It’s a safe space to voice your thoughts and opinions too. So sign up now, and download our app!

Check out our post on the most underrated shows on Netflix and Prime Video by clicking here!

Fuzia stands for Fusion of different cultures & ideas. We are a global community of females that aims to promote creativity through guidance & help from experts