Menstruation don't make women weak! Period.
The promotions of Padman are in full swing. With over 30 film celebrities posing with an open sanitary napkin as part of the #PadManChallenge to convey there's nothing to be "ashamed" about something as "natural" as menstruation, social media is abuzz with addressing the acceptance of menstruation and the difficulties associated with it.
Women have those days when they're so overcome with cramps that they want to call in sick and stay curled up in bed all day rather than get dressed and attempt to sit upright in a chair for eight hours. But are periods so bad that you would want the option to take a paid “menstrual leave?”
Twinkle Khanna, who is debuting as a producer with 'PadMan', says women should not use menstruation as an excuse to go on a leave. She was quoted saying, “A lot of people think women should stay at home, so why give them an excuse to stop women from doing anything. If there is too much pain, then one can take an off just like they do for any other sickness like a stomach ache. Women should not make period a reason to take a leave.”
With Padman receiving a good response at the box-office, Catch News spoke to spoke to the working women from the Metro Cities seeking their take on 'menstrual leaves'. Here's what they had to say.
“Asking employers to specifically accommodate women’s most mundane biological attribute—while helpful to those who suffer severe pain—seems overall like a retrograde request, especially considering how far women have come without it. Plus, these kinds of policies threaten to undermine women’s long-standing battle to discourage the notion that their natural cycle makes them weak or in any way less able,” says Delhi-based fashion designer Shalini Choudhary.
“I get really bad period pain and can barely climb out of my bed on the third day. It's unbearable at times and I've to call in sick. Though I'd wish we could get paid leaves for such days, I do not recommend it. Periods are a biological part of a woman's body and they shouldn't give her or anyone an excuse to make her feel less competent. Yes, we're in pain but they in no way make us weak. What companies can do is provide an option for a period leave instead of making is compulsory,” says Banglore-based writer, Kriti Gupta.
Research conducted at University College, London has revealed that period pain can be as 'bad as having a heart attack'.
“It's funny that such questions are even being asked. It goes without saying that women are in a lot of discomfort during that time of the month and asking more from them is completely unfair. There's a reason why men are physically stronger and why they went to war while the women stayed back. (That doesn't mean women can't go to war, though.) It's just that the biology of their bodies are different. And while on their period they need that extra rest. Periods don't make us weak, but yes, we just need more comfort during that time. So, why can't we have at least two days off for something that's naturally uncomfortable to us? Like Akki rightly says in the movie 'Half hour man bleeding like woman, man dying',” says Shiv Shakti, Mumbai-based content producer.
“Women not only face immense discomfort but their productivity also drops on the first and second days of the menstrual cycle. I've had many girls come in to get medicines to help reduce their peroid cramps and the pain associated with it. Some of these medicines are quite strong and require them to take best rest also. So, what companies can do is provide women with an option to work from the comfort of their homes on such days,” says Astha Dayal, Gynecologist and Obstetrician, New Delhi
On a similar note Kritika Modgil, IT professional from Jaipur, says, “I don't want to use my period as an excuse to escape work. I'd definitely want to be in a relaxed environment than worry about just being present at office. My cramps make it difficult for me to concentrate and hence my productivity is reduced during that time. However, I can deliver much better from home with a hot water bag to ease my pain.”
"I believe menstrual awareness does exist nowadays. I work in an MNC, and we have wellness rooms, which have pad dispensers. Such arrangements make life easier. Also, we have work from home facility, which both men and women can opt for if the project allows. During periods, many women suffer from sudden increase/decrease of BP, nausea etc and thus need rest. Taking a few hours off and resting in the wellness room, can help relieving their pain,” says Annu Sharma, HR professional, New Delhi.