THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taking cue from the Indian companies led by Mumbai based digital media start-up ‘Culture Machine’ to introduce one-day menstrual leave for its women work force, in Kerala, Mathurbhumi media firm declares to implement it. Now, in the political circles of Kerala it is has triggered a debate, while some calling for a campaign to introduce it. This comes in at a time when the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is yet to give its nod for a policy to offer one-day menstrual leave every month for women.
“I welcome the decision of the Mumbai firm `Culture Machine’ and Kerala’s Mathrubhumi to introduce one-day menstrual leave for women. I would appreciate the move and would support a campaign and policy for such a menstrual leave in Kerala considering the fact that many women suffer the physiological stress and the work stress which is tough and affects their productivity,” MLA P Aisha Potty told TOI. Further, she added that it would be a good move for all women irrespective of the profession, be it politics to relax for a day and to regain their health to be at their best to perform their duty, she said.
“Article 14 of the Indian constitution envisions to protect ‘Right to Equality’ with a reasonable classification bearing a just and reasonable reason. All genders are equal before law and yet based on the physiological problem of women, this menstrual leave for a day or two can be considered under reasonable assistance,” Aisha Potty said.
Social justice and health minister KK Shailaja told TOI that the state government has to discuss with various departments to discuss before introducing such a policy decision to permit one-day menstrual leave for women.
“Unless we discuss with women in politics and with all departments, we cannot declare a new policy. Even if the first day leave of monthly menstrual cycle is granted as menstrual leave to women, it should be genuine and it should not be a ground for misuse,” she said.
Fisheries Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry Minister J Mercykutty Amma told TOI that “menstruation is a natural routine process for women and such a leave is not called for be it for women in any profession.” Instead of following an exclusive policy of declaring leave, an inclusive policy should be followed complementing with all facilities for women ensuring wash room, napkin vending machine and proper drinking water. On whether women in active politics and political leaders to have such a leave, she said such a leave is not called for unless if someone complains about ill health during the phase.