Would you advocate a ‘period leave’ for women?

Would you advocate a ‘period leave’ for women?


A UK based company, Coexist, has created quite some news for introducing the policy of ‘period leave’ so as to make work environment friendlier for women and to ensure that they have a good balance of work with their menstrual cycle.

While some have welcomed the move by saying that it would be very helpful for women during those uncomfortable days, the others have called it a sexist move claiming that it would only make their male counterpart feel superior and have more dominance over work, hence portraying women as the weaker sex.

The aim of the company behind the introduction of the policy was to ensure no suffering to women during their work hours. Taking a detour back home, we can see that the Bihar government already has such a policy in many of their departments since years. According to their Human Resource guidelines, ‘All women staff is eligible to avail two days of special leave every month because of biological reasons. This is in addition to all the other eligible leaves.”


1. Discomfort: Women experience extreme discomfort during period days. It is even more uncomfortable for them to stay out all day and concentrate on work while going through a really bad time. Not every profession gives you the comfort of a well-facilitated office. Consider the example of the duty hours of a woman police constable or traffic police. She could be on the move all day or posted at a location where there is no access to clean toilets. Her woes would only worsen during those days when she purposefully needs to stay hygienic and clean.

2. Pain: Some women experience excruciating pain and cramps during period days. There are biological factors to attest to this. While this does not apply for all women, it would still be difficult to know which one amongst the women staff actually goes through such difficulties during menstrual days. They wouldn’t open up on their own and declare that they are an exception and would need leave on those days. It would be embarrassing if a few of the many women staff take leave on those days.

3. Mood swings: This might sound like vague reasoning but psychologists can attest to the fact that women do experience mood swings during period days. They get irritated easily, are vulnerable to breaking down at slightest insult or injury and some even don’t like much conversation during those days. Having to go to work in such a bad mood is not a pleasant scenario. Women usually find it very distracting to work on those days. Some are open about it while others mask it with forged courtesy.

4. Facts: Women rely on painkillers to get rid of cramps during periods when they have to work. Some even need more than one painkiller on a single day to get going. Some say that even regular intake of painkillers isn’t enough to help them get rid of those cramps. Regular intake of painkillers on those days of the months could not be good for heath of women anyways. Women have been complaining of being numb to the effects of regular painkillers when taken for any other problem. This is because their system makes the drug not so effective since they have regularly been consuming those drugs.


1. What happened to gender equality at work? Feminists have regularly been fighting for gender equality at work. They want the same pay, same promotions, same positions, same incentives, same growth prospects, then why not equality in working days? Why should women get 2 or more days of leave every month when men won’t be getting the same privilege? Men and women are not equal physically but they must be equal professionally.

2. Weaker sex: Women were considered the weaker among the two. The ancient era marked that certain kind of work were reserved only for men because they were physically stronger. The modern time has rightly dismissed such orthodox beliefs but such leaves for periods would only do the opposite. When women sign up for army and air force, they do understand that they would be facing the difficulties of those days but they don’t ask for leave. Why should office going women need period leave when they will still get all the comforts that these women in defense forces don’t get and never complain too?

3. Back to old school: Restricting women from entering kitchen and temples were also meant to help women get the much needed rest during periods. Women all over the country have condemned the old school myth and are fighting for these rights. Wouldn’t it be the same thing to ask for leave during periods? This would only lead to defaming of women, making them feel less worthy and inefficient when compared to men since men won’t need any such regular leave.

4. Unnecessary advantage: While some women experience excruciating pain during periods, it is to be noted that not women go through the same physical discomfort. Those who do experience such unbearable pain should be able to prove a medical certification for the same so that the same rule doesn’t apply for all women. They can take sick leave if the need calls for it. Other woman may not want leave at all during periods. In a recent poll, it was found that most women did not support the policy of period leave at all.

5. No impeding work: Most women can attest to the fact that period doesn’t impede or obstruct performance at work. It is more of a psychological stigma set into our minds that make us feel low and uncomfortable during those days. Let’s face it – sitting at home and lazing around won’t make it any better, it never did and it never will. It would be better to stay engrossed in work all day so that you don’t have to think about the fact that you’re going to be bleeding all day long with cramps and uncomfortable and irritated mood.


Period leave is a matter that will receive different views from different people. While most strong women would prefer to enjoy equality and work during those days, there are women who would be complaining of extreme and unbearable pain that needs her to take leave during those days.

Depending upon the need of women, it should be made an optional provision, bound of medical certification. Those who need leave could produce a certificate and avail one while the others can continue to prove that they are equally efficient at work when compared to men.

But again, it would be not so comfortable to announce at office that you would be taking leave because you are going through your periods.
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  • RE: Would you advocate a ‘period leave’ for women? -Babenchuk (03/25/16)
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