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After Zomato, This Firm In Surat Is Giving Its Female Employees 12 Extra Period Leaves A Year. This Is Another Step Towards De-stigmatization

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I was 12 or 13 when I first got my period. Of course, like all girls, I was terrified and had no idea what was going to happen. We were given “the talk” in school just a few weeks before in a completely hushed up presentation and informed that we must not convey any of what we had just learnt to the boys in our class. And that, right there was the first mistake. Boys needed to be given a period education as well. That is the only way to normalize and destigmatize menstruation. The only way, women won’t have to suffer in silence, talk about periods in hushed tones so our fathers and brothers remain unaware or hurry to buy pads and then hide the black bag that the chemists give them in. Ugh, I hate those black bags. I always found it so demeaning.

Menstruation is a very misunderstood concept. Mostly because even today, men refuse to understand it. Although does that stop them from passing comments or making decisions that surround us and our menstrual cycles? No. Damn you, patriarchy. As a result, we have half-baked knowledge, a set of horrible decisions and of course a whole lot of stigma surrounding a basic bodily function. 

There is one argument, in particular though, that has picked up recently- period leaves. Some people believe that it’s the right thing to do since our nightmarish cramps make it difficult for us to even sit in one place, let alone work. While others believe that giving women a few extra paid leaves are anti-feminist or fall in the category of inequality. I think this is the only time since men have a problem with inequality since otherwise, they are always on the winning side. What side I am on? Well, I will let you figure that one out. 

This debate has picked up pace after Zomato announced that it would be giving its female employees 10 paid period leaves per year. Yes, that’s a great start and companies have already started to follow suit. 

After Zomato made its announcement, a digital marketing company in Surat also decided to give its female employees 12 days of period leaves annually. 

Bhautik Sheth, founder of iVIPANAN announced just this Sunday that this new company norm will come into effect immediately. The digital marketing firm was started in 2014 and has nine employees in total, out of which 8 are female. So this was an excellent move for them. 

Talking to TOI, Bhautik said, “We understand the discomfort faced by female team members during periods. The work stress and office environment can increase their pain and discomfort levels. Now any female team member is eligible to take one paid leave per month during their menstrual cycle.” 

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

He further went to talk about how stigmatized menstruation is and how necessary it is to debunk it. He said, “Even today females working in offices become conscious of taking a bag, purse, and plastic bag in a hand while going to the washroom. We want to break this stigma and send a strong message to all small-size businesses in India to understand the biological difference in male and female.” 

Why can’t all men think like him?

They are sending a very powerful message. Period leaves need to be a norm not because we want those extra few days a year to chill but because we are writing in pain, and adding work pressure to those cramps and mood-swings only makes them worse. But I am not surprised that our male counterparts don’t understand this concept. 

The stigma around menstruation needs to be broken so women can live freely without having to hide the pain they feel on those 5 days. We are so glad that companies are following Zomato’s brilliant initiative and hopefully there will be a time when period leaves is a norm, not an option.

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

 

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