Kerala media group Mathrubhumi announces period leave for women employees

The first day of the period will be considered as casual or medical leave and employees have an option of using it or not.
Representative image(REUTERS File Photo)
Representative image(REUTERS File Photo)
Published on Jul 19, 2017 11:40 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | By

Malayalam media giant Mathrubhumi on Wednesday decided to grant period leave to its women employees. Initially it will be implemented in ‘Mathrubhumi News,’ electronic wing of the group, and later it will be extended to other sister organizations. 

The decision came in the wake of Mumbai-based digital media start-up group, ‘Culture Machine,’ announcing leave for women employees on the first day of the menstrual cycle. Interestingly in many countries like Japan, South Korea and Italy menstrual leave is part of women employees’ leave policy. 

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Mathrubhumi joint managing director MV Shreyams Kumar said it was an instant decision and no employee asked for it. “It is not empowering women but understanding their needs. This is also an attempt to remove taboo surrounding the biological cycle,” he said. 

Initially the first day of the period will be considered as a casual or medical leave and employees have an option either to accept or leave it. In ‘Mathrubhumi News’ out of 320 employees 75 are women. “When we came across such a news we felt it was a genuine issue. It was an instant decision and we took it not because any woman employee asked for it,” Kumar, also a former MLA, said. 

Later many women employees of ‘Mathrubhumi News’ took to social media lauding the initiative of the media group. ”For us it is a historical achievement and we are proud to be part of this group. It buttresses the point what women need is not sympathy or support but understanding,” an employee wrote. Though women activists have more or less supported the move some felt that it may lead to further discrimination. 


    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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