Supreme Court expresses concern over menstrual leaves: Gynaecologists say ‘thoughtful implementation’ is vital | Health - Hindustan Times
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Supreme Court expresses concern over menstrual leaves: Gynaecologists say ‘thoughtful implementation’ is vital

By, Delhi
Jul 09, 2024 12:38 PM IST

The Supreme Court expressed concern about women employment being affected with menstrual leaves. Gynaecologists shared their opinions.

The conversation regarding the necessity of menstrual leaves for women at workplace has been ongoing for quite sometime now. There is a divided opinion on this – while some believe that menstrual leaves should be provided to women, some think that it is not required. The Supreme Court, shedding light on the downside of menstrual leaves, expressed that menstrual leaves could have a detrimental effect on women - “How will the leave encourage more women to be part of the workforce", the court asked the petitioner and said "mandating such leave will lead to women being shunned from the workforce...we do not want that,” the bench said.

The bench expressed the concern of menstrual leaves having detrimental effect on women.(Shutterstock)
The bench expressed the concern of menstrual leaves having detrimental effect on women.(Shutterstock)

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Menstrual leaves: Can it reinforce gender stereotypes?

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Manjusha Goel, Lead Consultant, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi responded to this concern - “Menstrual pain can be debilitating for many women, significantly affecting their daily functioning. Providing menstrual leave acknowledges this reality, offering much-needed relief and support. However, mandating menstrual leave must be approached with caution. There's a legitimate concern that it might inadvertently reinforce gender stereotypes, portraying women as less reliable employees. This could lead to discrimination, with employers potentially avoiding hiring women to circumvent perceived productivity losses.”

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Menstrual leaves: What is the way forward?

Resonating with this, Apurva Gupta, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Daffodils by Artemis, EOK said, “Rather than outright mandated leave, a more flexible work policy could be beneficial. Options such as remote work, adjustable hours, or the ability to take sick leave for menstrual issues without stigma might provide a ground that allows women to offer their best at their workplace without compromise on their health. Education and awareness campaigns within workplaces can also help dismantle the taboos surrounding menstruation, fostering a more supportive environment. While the need for menstrual leave is valid from a health standpoint, the potential socio-economic repercussions brought to light by the Supreme Court necessitate a thoughtful implementation strategy. Creating an inclusive workplace culture that supports women's health without penalizing their professional opportunities is essential for true progress.”

ALSO READ: Can you drink rose tea for period cramps?

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