Global Standards for Menstrual Leave, and Indian Menstrual Leave Practices

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The menstrual leave policy should be considered within a broader framework of menstrual health and hygiene. This encompassing approach involves ensuring access to safe and affordable sanitary products, promoting education and awareness, and working towards the elimination of stigma and discrimination.
The menstrual leave policy should be considered within a broader framework of menstrual health and hygiene. This encompassing approach involves ensuring access to safe and affordable sanitary products, promoting education and awareness, and working towards the elimination of stigma and discrimination.

In earlier times, menstruation carried a negative perception, associating the blood with impurity and viewing periods as a curse. Women in certain cultures were branded as unclean and impure, and subjected to various cultural rituals.
In the past, menstruation was often viewed negatively, with the blood considered impure and periods thought to be a curse. In some cultures, women were labeled unclean, and impure, and were bound by cultural rituals.

However, in some historical cultures, a menstruating woman was considered sacred and powerful, with increased psychic abilities, and strong enough to heal the sick. 

In modern times, there has been a shift in the way menstruation is viewed. Many countries have made efforts to break the taboo surrounding menstruation and promote menstrual hygiene.

In India, for example, the government has launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign to promote menstrual hygiene and provide sanitary napkins to women.

In some countries, menstrual leave is being introduced to allow women to take time off work during their periods. It is important to note that different cultures view menstruation in different ways, and the basis of many conduct norms and communication about menstruation in Western industrial societies is the belief that menstruation should remain hidden.

Menstrual leave policy is a workplace policy that allows women to take time off from work or school when they are suffering from menstrual pain or discomfort.

The policy aims to acknowledge the physical and emotional challenges that many women face during their periods and to reduce the impact of menstruation on their productivity and performance. Menstrual leave policy can be either paid or unpaid and can vary in duration and frequency.

Menstrual leave policy is not a new concept, as it has been in existence in some countries for decades. However, it is still a controversial and debated issue, as it raises questions about gender equality, stigma, discrimination, and feasibility.

Some argue that the menstrual leave policy is a progressive and necessary measure that empowers women and respects their bodily autonomy. Others contend that the menstrual leave policy is a regressive and discriminatory practice that reinforces stereotypes and disadvantages women in the workplace.

Global perspectives on menstrual leave policy vary. In Spain, paid menstrual leave was introduced in 2021. Japan has had a menstrual leave law since 1947, with specifics left to employer choice. Indonesia granted two days of paid menstrual leave per month since 2003. South Korea allows one day of paid menstrual leave per month since 2001, although compliance varies. In India, only Bihar and Kerala have implemented menstrual leave policies for state employees, while some private companies have adopted similar policies, including Zomato, Byju’s, and Swiggy.

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