“Mensuration is not a handicap”- SMRITI IRANI

“Mensuration is not a handicap”- SMRITI IRANI


On Thursday 14th December 2023, the Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani passed a statement that is gathering worldwide attention. She said that the menstruation and menstruation cycle is not a handicap, but a natural part of women’s journeys. She added that introducing mensuration leaves can lead to discrimination against women in the workforce area and all this can make women denied equal work opportunities.

However, recently Spain has passed a law that allows people to take paid menstrual leave from work and hence become the first European country to do something like that. Our country hasn’t passed any law about menstruation leave so far which has now been clarified by Smriti Irani in response to the question raised by (MP) Shashi Tharoor. Although, it is not true to say that it might cause discrimination against women in the workforce area if any such law comes into existence. This could be the most challenging time of the month for women who face severe period cramps.

Yes, it is part of a woman’s journey, but it is also important to keep in mind that giving them leave during this period of time can create a sense of equality in our society where we acknowledge this natural process without considering it a taboo.

Impact Of Menstruation On Mental Health

The impact of the menstruation cycle can have a significant impact on the women’s mental health. As the hormonal changes are happening in the body that can lead to physical and emotional changes which results in mood swings, and low energy. Menstruation is just not about shedding the blood but it comes with a lot of physical and mental exhaustion.

One such example could be the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many people think that PMS is not a real thing and it’s all in the mind, but that is a completely wrong thing. According to research, it has been shown that 90% of women of reproductive age have shown the symptoms of PMS at some point in their lives. 20% of women experience it and 10% are affected by this severely. Working during this time becomes even more difficult for them, but that’s not the ending. PMS is just all the mental exhaustion a woman faces.

When women face period cramps for some women they’re manageable, but for some, they can be a death experience because of the severe cramps. Working during this time could be the most difficult thing for them. The physical pain consists of lower back pain, abdominal pain, fatigue, and headache. Many studies are also suggesting that period cramps can be as painful as having a heart attack.

This statement itself gives chills to many people

Still, women are expected to do all the domestic chores and office work without showing their pain. How can we call this equality of opportunity for women and ask for discrimination against them in the workforce area?

Furthermore, the stigma attached to periods is still in many sections of our society. However, people are educating themselves about menstrual pain but still, there is a lack of education about this topic and people ignore it.

An introduction of a period leave policy can help to destigmatize this taboo in the workplace. It will also allow women to talk about menstruation without any shame and judgment. Moreover, introducing such a policy in the workplace can create a supportive non-judgmental environment for individuals who menstruate and create a great impact on our society. In addition, it will motivate other companies to introduce such things, which eventually make a healthy workplace area.

Taking off from their work for 2-3 days can make them recover from all the physical and mental exhaustion they have faced during that time. In return, it will enhance their work efficiency in the workplace. However, there are alternatives if the option of period leave is not available in a particular workplace. Reduction in the work hours can also help. In this way, women can spend more time in their homes. Other alternatives could be the work-from-home policy as they still can work from their comfort space.

In conclusion, menstrual leave could be a game changer in the workspace world. Not only it will give relief to women from their work but also sends a strong message to the world that menstruation is a natural biological process and taking leave from work during this time isn’t an excuse not to work and is completely normal to prioritize yourself over anything.

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