Women’s Day: Should women get menstrual leaves?

Menstruation is one of the vital processes of a woman’s body, and it deserves utmost caution and self-care.

Women’s Day: Should women get menstrual leaves?

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Menstruation is one of the vital processes of a woman’s body, and it deserves utmost caution and self-care. Unfortunately, the debates on the need for menstrual leaves have failed to generate an understanding of the issue among the people and create awareness on discussing the well-being of women.

Menstrual leave started as a concerning topic in a positive way but has now become more of a publicity stunt for people speaking about it. Do we need so much attention? Do we really need menstrual leaves?

It is a natural process; the first two days are in a very bad state. Painkillers, hot bags, hot beverages, chocolates seem to work to some extent for first your days. Still, you feel irritated and you need that no one should come around to poke you.


Stomach Pain, Menstruation


The question arises do we really need menstrual leaves? Back in 1947, Japan introduced menstrual leaves as part of work policy. A few other countries including South Korea and Indonesia, have introduced this concept of one or two off days a month for the women employees to take care of their menstrual health.

The time when women start feeling pain is when the period begins starting the cycle. A study has found that while eight out of 10 women suffer pain at work, 30 percent of the respondents could not tell their bosses about it.

Distraction may help or physical work sometimes reduces the menstruation pain, but not every time.

After the release of film PadMan, many re-initiated the conversation that menstrual leave should be a norm. While some said it would be welcoming step break help remove the taboo surrounding menstruation, others said it would make women look weaker. What are sick leaves for is another argument by the naysayers.


Bollywood actor and writer, author and producer, Twinkle Khanna, thinks menstruation should never be taken as an excuse to take a leave.

“I was a part of a show wherein a lady said she runs more when she is on her period so that no one can tell her to sit at home because she is weak. Many people think women should stay at women, so why to give them an excuse to stop women from doing anything. If there is too much pain, then one can take an off just like they do for any other sickness like a stomach ache. Women should not make period a reason to take a leave,” she recently said at a conference.

Women are not weaker but their bodies are biologically different from men. But if menstruation really calls for an off day should be a personal matter for everyone.

While some women say they do not even realise that they are bleeding even if they are at work, the pain is unbearable for others who even have to consult a doctor at times.

The menstrual cycle is a natural process during which women can experience a range of emotions and physical discomforts. But if menstrual leaves are provided, working women should definitely not misuse them.