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In 2017, we published an article titled: “A company in India gives women a day off if they have painful periods.” As mentioned, a media company in Mumbai called “Cultural Machine” announced that… employees can take the first day of their period as a paid day off if they feel pain or discomfort. Some of the reactions were supportive – some were not. The company hoped to end the stigma surrounding the open discussion of menstruation. A second company, GoZoop, followed suit.

But in cases where companies or countries have established a similar policy, some have expressed concerns – for example, would employees who ask for a painful day off be seen as less committed or valuable employees? Some said, why not use the sick day only if necessary? Our curiosity piqued the question: has the idea of ​​taking a day off painfully persisted in this company and gained traction in other parts of the world?

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Culture Machine was acquired by another agency in 2019 and did not respond to inquiries regarding the day off. But the second leading company, GoZoop, has continued this policy. They are part of a growing trend.

And earlier this year, Spain became the first European country to set a policy on monthly leave. “The days of … going to work in pain are over,” Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero said when the period proposal was first announced, granting 3 days off with a doctor’s note as confirmation and the possibility of extending the leave to 5 days. .

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Similar policies exist in other countries, including China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Zambia and Mexico.

As for India, several major private companies have adopted a similar policy since 2017, including food delivery services Zomato, Swiggy and education technology company Byju’s.

Another adopted company is Bharat Shakti, a Delhi-based media startup. In 2021, Nilanjana Banerjee, who heads content creation, proposed a vacation policy at her organization — and her boss agreed. “I have never felt safe sharing this issue with any of my bosses [in previous organizations] “Most of my bosses were men,” she says. But in her current job, she found the company’s president was more accepting.

Government agencies also supported this idea. In January 2023, the Indian state of Kerala introduced period leave in all state-run universities. In the same month, a lawyer File a petition Period leave in the country is being sought by the country’s highest court for students and workers across India. The court dismissed the petition, saying it was up to lawmakers, not the judiciary, to create such a policy.

Two months later, a parliamentary committee urge Representatives are considering issuing a law that guarantees leave. He added that the policy “will have a positive impact on the rate of female labor force participation in the formal sector and will help achieve gender gains to achieve broad and inclusive growth.”

The percentage of female employees in India is only about 9%, which is less than that of women Female employment rate in Pakistan And almost In line with Afghanistan Before the Taliban takeover in 2021.

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“It’s a question of wellness, employee confidence, gender equality, and it affects all of us,” says Sudha Shashwati, a consultant psychologist and professor at Dehradun. “Paid menstrual leave is an acknowledgment that the workplace is not just for those who own the male body.”

Nikhil Narain, associate professor at Jindal School of International Law who specializes in competition law, says it is in the company’s interest to grant periodic leave. “I think women who are forced to work when their body isn’t keeping up have the greatest chances of affecting their productivity,” he says.

This policy has its share of detractors now just as it did when we first covered it. Back in 2017, journalist Barkha Dutt, books “Day one off may be seen as progressive, but it actually downplays the importance of the feminist agenda for equal opportunity, especially in male-dominated professions,” in a newspaper op-ed Washington Post. “Worse, it reaffirms that there is a biological determinism in women’s lives, a construct that women of my generation have spent years challenging.”

But the idea of ​​a day off has staunch supporters. “When they announced this policy in 2017, the first thought that came to my mind was that we are being listened to and cared for. I can have the rest and space I need. That day…without prejudice my professional responsibilities.

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