Period Leaves: the good and the bad
On Saturday, Zomato announced that all its female employees (including transgender people) can avail upto 10 days of period leaves in a year.
We look at the pros and cons of this move.
Given the patriarchy and the lack of women in positions of power, the conversation around periods has always been stunted. This move comes as a big acknowledgement towards the same, and helps drive the conversation forward. One could argue that this could be a step towards tax-free sanitary products in the future.
However, in a society that already demands women to prove themselves deserving in the workplace, it can harm employment prospects for women and give more leverage to employers who already discriminate. Then again, any opposition to this comes from trying to adjust to what the ‘men’ will be comfortable with and how it would be perceived by them.
But that’s the argument, should women continue to endure distress just to prove something to society because of an existing mindset? Essentially women are being asked to buck up, deal with it and show up to work if they want to be valued by their employer and considered equal to men.
Period leaves might just act as an added burden. In addition, the minute women show a “perceived weakness” in a field job such as the defence forces and first responders, they are shamed for being incapable, fragile and emotional. In such a scenario, how will period leaves impact the psychology that already works against seeing women as equal in the workplace?
In a perfect society, we would be able to acknowledge and make exceptions for the different biological functions of men and women, without it affecting employment opportunities negatively, but instead working in their support to enable growth. But do we need to wait 20 years for perceptions to change?