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Paid menstrual leave for Kolkata’s working women

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It is about time we start talking about menstrual pain. Every month, menstruation comes to every girl’s life like a nightmare. It brings in discomfort, agony and interferes the normalcy of life and often act as a major hindrance in our functionality. The clinical term for period pain is Dysmenorrhea which makes women suffer in silence as talking about it invites a lot of unreasonable squeamishness from the orthodox society. Since childhood, multiple euphemisms are used to address menstruation. After growing up, women pop pain killers and drag themselves to work, much to the oblivion of the ignorant world. 

However, these days, a lot is being talked about period leave. In countries like Japan and Australia, menstrual leave is common. Period leave seemed to be an outlandish idea in India until a company in Mumbai called Culture Machine offered leave for women employees on the first day of their menstruation. While many have considered the need to offer a menstrual leave, many sexist comments came from people saying that women might end up mis-utilizing this leave as an unfair privilege to escape work. The insecurity lies so deep that even some women fear that certain misogynistic authority might be prejudiced against hiring women. 

Kolkata has always been able to break the shackles of needless orthodox ideas and has stood up for all the right reasons. This new year, a Kolkata-based digital media company has taken a pathbreaking and sensitive decision in favour of women, which yet again restores our faith in humanity. It has brought about a sigh of relief for the women employees of the company by introducing menstrual leave as a new year gift. Most importantly, this would be a paid leave. 

Compassion, as they say, is an underrated emotion. This company has truly set an example by being compassionate enough to stand by women. The founder CEO of FlyMyBiz said, “Every woman employee in my company will be offered an extra menstrual leave every month from January 2019. This implies that in addition to other holidays, they would have twelve holidays in a year in this regard.” 

We only hope this respectful attitude towards women shown by one man and his organisation, will be adopted in the new year by many more and provide a tight slap on the patriarchal shackles acting as the first step towards making the survival of women easy in workplaces.