June 08, 2018
1 year

Given the biological complexity of women and the intense pain they have to suffer during menstruation, discuss the need for a menstrual leave policy in India. Also discuss the challenges associated with such policy and suggest measures to overcome those challenges. (200 words)

Refer – Business Line

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IAS Parliament 1 year


What was the need?

·        Men and women are biologically different.

·        Many women experience debilitating pain and feel uncomfortable during menstruation.

·        Many organizations lack an adequate number of toilets, while some have common toilets for men and women. This makes the situation more miserable for menstruating women.

·        Such a policy will encourage the participation of more women in the country’s workforce.

·        It will reduce menstrual taboos by addressing it.

·        Productivity levels would go up according to the state of mind women have towards their employer.

·        Countries like Japan, Taiwan, several provinces in China, Indonesia and South Korea have already implemented menstrual leave policies for women.


·        Organisations may tend to hire more men than women, because hiring women will lead to losses for the organisation, considering the number of days they’ll work.

·        With each woman taking a leave once every month, the productivity of the organisation will come down.

·        Such a move could create a large room for harassment of women at the workplace, given the widespread ignorance about menstruation among Indian men.

·        Many women were also against such policy as it will lead to violation of their right to privacy.


·        The culture surrounding menstruation must be changed, and it takes both women and men to make that happen.

·        It starts with open, honest conversation, and continues with education that empowers women to feel aware of and comfortable with their bodies and flows.

·        We need to ensure access to separate toilets for men and women with facilities for disposal of sanitary napkins in all workplaces.

·        Instead of requiring women to adjust to workplaces designed for men, we need to transform our workplaces to be inclusive and sensitive to the needs of all employees.

·        This will ensure an enabling environment in which both men and women can thrive and perform up to their maximum potential.