PERIOD LEAVE FOR WOMEN- VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO EQUALITY? BY NIRZANA BANIKYA AT LEXCLIQ

INTRODUCTION

Menstruation or period is a vaginal bleeding which is normal and occurs as a part of woman’s monthly cycle. Every month a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy and if no pregnancy occurs, the uterus or womb sheds its lining. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissues from the uterus. Period has always been a taboo from the ancient times itself not just in India but all over the world. During period, a woman is considered impure; as a result women often hide the fact and don’t speak openly about it.

WOMEN DURING PERIOD AT THEIR WORKPLACE

It is generally seen that, every women during their periods suffer from various other problems like- vomiting, headache, back pain, cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, feeling of shabbiness, awful emotions or mood swings, etc. These sufferings sometimes become severe and unbearable. To get rid of these sufferings, they take medicines and painkillers that cause mood swings. Thus, it is necessary that they take care of their health.

At workplace, only if proper facilities were available for the women during their periods, it would have been better and easier, for instance, clean and period friendly toilets, pads/ tampons availability, emergency medicines, etc. But the question is how many of these workplaces really have these facilities? These women also have a fear of stain on their clothes. Moreover, during periods women cannot stand for hours as they feel weak and uneasy. Women with severe pain during their periods also need for some extra care which is only possible and accessible at their respective homes. Therefore, it is not just a requirement but a sole responsibility of every individual or organisation to provide at least ‘two- days paid period leave’ as a sign of morality and care for the health of the women of their organisation.

PERIOD LEAVE AND VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO EQUALITY

Article 14 to 19 of the Constitution of India is found to deal with Right to Equality. Every citizen is equal before law. Right to equality provides for equal protection by law. Here the question is whether, period leave granted to the women during their periods is in violation of Right to equality or not? Is it unfair for the men in the workplace?

Article 15 (3) of the Constitution of India empowers state to make special provisions for women. The biological factors of a man and woman are different. As women are privileged and entitled to maternity leave because of the ‘women body requirement’, similarly, during the TIME OF THE MONTH, the leave must be granted with protection to their employment and shall not be considered as violation of Right to equality.

CONCLUSION

According to me, it is important for the workplaces to at least consider some leniency. Even though leaves are not granted, work from home should be allowed. However, like it’s often said that productivity depends on the health and happiness of the employees. Therefore, a leave of two days will not just motivate the women but also enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.

Authored by- Nirzana Banikya, Guwahati, Assam.

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