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Smriti Irani Opposes ‘Paid Leave’ Policy on Menstruation

Menstruation is not a “handicap,” according to Union minister of women and child development Smriti Irani, and it shouldn’t be the basis for a special policy of “paid leave.” Irani was responding in the Rajya Sabha to a query regarding the nation’s menstrual hygiene policy posed by Manoj Kumar Jha. A member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the upper chamber.

“Being a woman who experiences menstruation does not make me less of a person. Rather, it is a normal aspect of a woman’s life path. She stated, “We should not bring up issues where women are denied equal opportunities simply because someone who does not menstruate has a certain opinion about menstruation.”

Irani informed the Lok Sabha last week in response to a query posed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor that the government was “considering” making paid menstruation leave “mandatory for all workplaces.” Smriti Irani responded to the upper chamber on Wednesday, writing that “most of these cases are manageable by medication” and that “a small proportion of women/girls suffer from severe dysmenorrhea or similar complaints.”

“But the subject of menstruation and the activities that go along with it are shrouded in secrecy. Frequently viewed with shame, and linked to social taboos that limit the freedom, mobility, and access to regular activities for those who are menstruating, frequently resulting in harassment and social exclusion. When a girl or person who is menstruation is ignorant of the changes she experiences on an emotional and physical level when she experiences her menstrual cycle for the first time, it becomes even more delicate.” The respondent stated.

Smriti Irani Opinion on Menstruation

Smriti Irani Opinion on Menstruation

In October, the government issued a draft Menstrual Hygiene Policy proposing leave arrangements for individuals menstruating in workplaces. “Workplaces and educational institutions should encourage diversity, acknowledge the range of demands among employees, and cultivate an atmosphere that enhances each person’s well-being and productivity. provisions include flexible work schedules, such support leave or work from home options, to meet the unique demands of each person during their menstrual cycle. To avoid maintaining stigmas or presumptions about productivity based on menstrual cycles, it is crucial to stress that such arrangements should be accessible to everyone, the draft said.

Jha also asked about rules controlling sanitary napkins and expressed worries about possible hazards related to specific compounds used in their manufacture. In response, Irani stated, “Through 10,000 Jan Aushadi Kendra, sanitary napkins are available at 1 rupee, and there has been no complaint,” highlighting the accessibility of sanitary napkins at reasonable costs.

“In 2014 after Modi Sarkar, the Jal Shakti ministry indeed started with national and state protocols for the management of sanitary products,” stated Irani on the disposal of sanitary products.

The ministry outlined many government-initiated programmes for menstrual hygiene in her written answer. It said that the government is promoting menstrual hygiene among teenage girls between the ages of 10 and 19 through a number of programmes.

“State Programme Implementation Plans are used to carry out the National Health Mission-backed Scheme. For Promotion of Menstrual Hygiene, which aims to increase awareness. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has also created National Guidelines on Menstrual Hygiene Management for Rural Areas under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, she added.

Smriti Irani Opinion on Menstruation

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