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Period leave: A Step Forward or regressive?

Food-delivery giant Swiggy recently announced a two-day paid monthly period leave policy for female delivery partners. 

Swiggy currently has over 1000 women delivery partners.

Swiggy has said that it has been striving to build inclusivity and diversity across the platform ever since it has roped in female delivery partners. 

While this is not the first time that a company has announced a policy of this kind, it has been a topic of debate among women themselves on whether this is a progressive move or a regressive one that will portray women as a weaker section.

Rupsha Bhadra, Divya Uppal, Rajni Singh, and Aanchal Sharma discuss.

Biological Discrimination

Some Indian women are worried that this move may lead to the alienation of women at the workplace. They believe that asking for period leave may be counterintuitive to the struggle of women to demand equality at workplaces.

“Women have fought long battles to achieve equality not just at workplaces but otherwise in general and this policy is just going to widen the gap that already exists at workplaces,” says Divya Uppal who sees period leave as the gendering of the workplace.

Openly Discussing Menstruation

Menstruation is considered a taboo topic in many sections of Indian society, and rarely discussed openly in personal or professional settings.

Some women feel that this policy will help people to discuss about menstruation at workplaces.

“Many of us have been taught to view periods as an illness, and something that needs to be hidden from others. Trying to create a work environment where people can talk about it, and not shy away, is a good move,” says Aanchal Sharma.

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Different Period Experience

 “Women have the choice whether or not to take such a leave. As a menstruator myself, I have the most debilitating experience when I am on my period. I think this policy is a step forward because a medical leave can’t be extended. So what if one needs to avail an off when they have excruciating pain and are unable to work,” says Rupsha Bhadra.

Rajni Singh said that she does not have any menstrual cramps or pain and she feels perfectly fit to work even during her period. She feels that it will eventually come down to whether women feel fit enough to work or not.

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