India, New Delhi reported, a digital media company is offering a “menstrual leave” to their female workers as a part of their official policy and called all on authorities for giving all working women the option of taking the first day of their period off work.
According to Mumbai Based Culture Machine, the new policy was taken to fight social taboos around menstruation in India, because there are millions of girls and women facing the social discrimination, health problems and low self-esteem just due to lack of knowledge.
The firms that announced the policy in a video on YouTube has 75 female workers. In this video female workers was talking about the first day of their periods and reacting to the news of the company’s “First Day of Period (FOP) leave” policy.
“The first day is obviously not so comfortable for most,” said Devleena S. Majumdar, president of Human Resources at Culture Machine, in the video. “So we felt it was the time we face reality. This is not an embarrassment; this is a part of life.”
In India, menstruation is not discussed openly so this can leave girls and women ignorant about this subject and issue due to some age-old beliefs.
According to these age-old beliefs the girls and women in periods days considered impure and unclean and are subjected to discrimination in these days, for example, they may not allow to go to church, temple or prepare and touch certain food.
In the video which has seen by 150,000 viewers since July 3, Culture Machine’s female staff talk about their personal experience at work on the first day of periods and the taboos and lack of understanding about the issue of menstruation. “Sometimes with male bosses, you have to be a little discreet,” said one female employee.
The company has also launched a plea on change.org calling on India’s Minister for Women Maneka Gandhi and the Minister for Human Resources Prakash Javadekar for adopting the similar policy for all women workers irrespective of where they work.
The Plea has attracted over 25,000 signatures in a week, asks why this issue kept be hidden and why women have to show up for work despite the pain and use “silly excuses”. “We, the women at Culture Machine’s Blush, have the privilege, if we may call it that, to apply for a leave on the day when the discomfort is unmanageable, no questions asked,” said the petition. “Now, we want the rest of the women in India to have the same right.”