That time of the month

No longer a

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa An­tao Contd on p5

The pos­si­bil­ity of women be­ing en­ti­tled to a ‘ pe­riod leave’ i. e. tak­ing a cou­ple of days off a month sounds like an alien con­cept in this coun­try, but it is a re­al­ity in cer­tain coun­tries across the world ( see left). And the lat­est one to join this band­wagon is Ningxia province in north China where women will soon be al­lowed to take up to two days leave a month, if they are un­able to work due to pe­riod pain. The lo­cal govern­ment said this ‘ pe­riod leave’ pol­icy would help bet­ter con­di­tions for women in the work­force. We asked ex­perts if In­dia too, should fol­low in their foot­steps.

Will ben­e­fit women phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally

Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Seema Hin­gor­rany is in favour of such a move to be in­tro­duced here, cit­ing it would ben­e­fit women. “Def­i­nitely, this should hap­pen in In­dia too, it will ben­e­fit women a lot emo­tion­ally. Many times, due to heavy cy­cles we have no­ticed that women feel emo­tion­ally very drained, long com­mut- ing hours with long hours of work wors­ens their phys­i­cal and men­tal con­di­tion. Many women com­plain of cry­ing spells, fa­tigue and de­pres­sion at this time. A pol­icy like this in In­dia if im­ple­mented will im­prove their con­di­tion,” she says.

Dif­fi­cult to im­ple­ment

Dr Firuza R Parikh, Direc­tor — Jaslok Fer­tilTree In­ter­na­tional Fer­til­ity Cen­tre says that it would be dif­fi­cult to ap­ply it across the board to all women in In­dia. “Be­sides, pe­riod pain can be con­trolled with med­i­ca­tion to a large ex­tent and usu­ally is not so in­ca­pac­i­tat­ing. Gen­er­ally, painful pe­ri­ods can arise from med­i­cal con­di­tions such as en­dometrio­sis and ade­no­myosis, which need either med­i­cal or sur­gi­cal treat­ment. This pain would not be treated by rest at home,” she adds.

An­other point that she raises is that it is dif­fi­cult to gen­er­alise women work­ing in which work sec­tor will ben­e­fit the most. Even house­wives would ben­e­fit from a break from chores dur­ing painful pe­riod days. Women do­ing man­ual work would also ben­e­fit from a pol­icy like this. Oth­ers who would do well with some time off are those who have jobs which re­quire a lot of in­ter­ac­tion such as teach­ers, po­lice­women, stock­bro­kers and driv­ers.

Un­nec­es­sary ab­sen­teeism

Nan­dita Pal­shetkar, IVF spe­cial­ist, Lilavati Hos­pi­tal, feels such a move will re­sult in un­nec­es­sary ab­sen­teeism at work places wh i c h w i l l l e a d t o un­pro­duc­tiv­ity.

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