The Need to Implement Paid Menstrual Leave as a Labor Legislation in India: A Comprehensive Study

  • Malika Garg
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  • Malika Garg

    Student at Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore, India

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The phenomenon of menstruation has persistently endured as a deeply entrenched societal taboo, transcending geographical boundaries and manifesting with particular intensity within the cultural context of India. Whenever a woman experiences menstruation, she is compelled to adhere to longstanding customs that are widely acknowledged. Notwithstanding the anguish and unease experienced, it is incumbent upon each woman to diligently engage in her routine undertakings. In the context of women employed within an office or occupations that require physical exertion, it is regrettably observed that these individuals encounter challenges when seeking to assert their entitlement to rest during their menstrual cycles. This predicament arises from a reluctance to openly discuss this natural physiological process. As per the findings elucidated in a study conducted at the esteemed University College London, it has been posited that the distressing phenomenon commonly referred to as menstrual cramps may potentially exhibit a comparable intensity to that of a myocardial infarction, colloquially known as a heart attack . This elucidates the profound magnitude of the anguish experienced, whereby exerting undue pressure or tension during the said period shall invariably compromise the well-being of the female individual. The issue of menstrual leave, akin to maternity leave, is one of great sensitivity and significance. Whilst the duration of the cycle may be shorter than that of the maternity period, it is imperative to acknowledge the gravity of the pain, discomfort, and associated health issues that manifest within this condensed timeframe. These afflictions bear significant consequences that reverberate throughout one's professional or educational milieu. It is evident that women in the workplace currently enjoy the advantage of maternity leave as provided by The Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Act 2017 and other pertinent labour statutes. However, it is disconcerting to observe that the discourse surrounding the issue of menstrual leave remains inadequately acknowledged and deliberated upon. In the present matter, one must ponder upon the question of equity in relation to a woman's ability to undertake risks and arduous tasks amidst the considerable physical discomfort she experiences. Additionally, it becomes imperative to examine whether the proposition of a remunerated menstrual leave poses an impediment to the career progression of female employees, thereby potentially dissuading companies from engaging in their services. According to the esteemed feminist activist, Kavitha Krishnan, it is her contention that each time the government formulates a policy, it does so with the explicit intention of conferring advantages upon the male workforce. Both women and transmen experience the physiological phenomenon of menstruation, thereby necessitating a thoughtful examination of the matter pertaining to the implementation of menstrual leave. Many individuals espouse the cause of advocating for paid menstrual leave. Furthermore, it has garnered a substantial amount of criticism. Within the confines of this paper, we shall delve into the perpetual discourse surrounding the permissibility of granting menstrual leave within Indian workplaces, with a particular focus on its potential advantages for women. Additionally, we shall examine the current status of menstrual leave both within India and abroad, while also elucidating the importance of its necessity within the framework of our nation's labour laws.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 3515 - 3527


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