That time of the month
No longer a
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.
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.