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A Supreme Court Advocate, Kiruba Munusamy Shares How She Was Fired From Her Job For Taking A Period Leave. How De-sensitized Are We As A Society To Menstruation?

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As it so happens, almost every time I step out for a drink or a get together with friends, most of our conversations often end up dividing the group into two people – the strong headed feminists who are quick to stand up for their beliefs and the disbelievers for whom talk of feminism is a threatening blow to their masculinity. I will leave you to figure out which one I fall into. You see, at a time like now, when women finally hold the power not just to start a dialogue for all the things they’ve been deprived of, like basic human rights and empathy, but also to drive change, it is important to remember how these changes aren’t just handouts for women, but the very need of the hour.

A few days back when the food giant Zomato announced that it was going to go ahead with giving its female employees an extra 10 leaves to account for their menstrual cycles throughout the year, and it was received with a bit of mixed reactions. While majority of us were thrilled to see companies finally addressing and acknowledging a natural biological cycle and the symptoms that come with it, others were quick to dismiss it as an act of biasedness and overcompensation. Except, it wasn’t and here is why.

A social media activist and a Supreme Court advocate, Kiruba Munuswamy recently shared her first hand experience on how she was mistreated and furthermore, fired for being a woman on her period. Just as infuriating as it sounds, Kiruba was working at a Supreme Court advocate’s office when one day she decided to take an off on the first day of her menstrual cycle, due to excessive cramps. Rather than being understanding of the situation, she was instead laid off immediately, after being told “This is why never recruit female juniors”.

Also Read : #Trending : Zomato To Now Give Its Female Employees 10 Extra Period Leaves A Year. Finally, A Step Towards De-Stigmatising Menstruation!

Sharing the incident on  twitter with a #DalitWomanMenstrualExperience hashtag along with her post, Kiruba meant to start a dialogue on just how unfair it was to dismiss a completely natural biological process and fire her for it. Spreading like wildfire, the post gathered a lot of attention and several people jumped in to comment on the matter, sharing similar instances. Talk about the need for busting myths around menstruation.

One user wrote, “It is important that we understand that period pain can be extremely debilitating. While individuals have the right to take that leave or not, to completely disregard the concept of period leaves is only further hampering gender equality.” While another one pointed out, “This is one and there are several issues for which PILs can be filed to make clear rules and regulations pertaining to issues faced by women.”

The fact that such issues exist is in itself a wake up call for all of us to realise just how regressive we are in our mindset and ways, to disregard women for a process we have no control over. And for all those who still think that women are only crying wolf when it comes to fighting for causes like these, this might serve as proof enough for why we do what we do. Hopefully with Zomato’s woke initiative of normalising periods, we might be in for experiencing a change!

Also Read : #Voices: No, Granting Period Leaves To Women Employees Isn’t Sexist And Won’t Hurt Equality. Here’s Why.


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