Recently, discussions on period leaves and what they represent, in terms of equality for women, have been taking place on social media. While companies and individuals are entitled to their opinion, what can not be denied is that period pains, and the stigma around it, are both real and rampant.
And social and political activist and Supreme Court advocate, Kiruba Munuswamy, first hand experienced the stigma around period pains when she was fired for taking a period leave.
Kiruba took to Twitter to share her experience of working at a Supreme Court advocate’s office. She shared that she was fired for taking a day off on the first day of my period. She further added that while firing her, she was told that "This is why never recruit female juniors".
I was fired from a Supreme Court Advocate’s Office for taking a day off on the first day of my period.— Kiruba Munusamy (@kirubamunusamy) August 13, 2020
”This is why never recruit female juniors”, he said.
I can't even sit in the courtrooms, as it's disrespectful to ’Senior Male Lawyers’.#DalitWomanMenstrualExperience
She shared the information in her thread on #DalitWomanMenstrualExperience. Many people commented on it and talked about why it is unfair to not grant women leaves for periods:
An intern at my office was bashed by my senior bcoz she left the day early due to the cramps she got during her periods. The senior asked me if I could ever hire someone like her, I looked up into her eyes & said YES, there is nothing wrong with her.— Ankit Jaglan (@ankitjaglan12) August 13, 2020
This is terrible that even in 2020 we have to explain our men what is period? What's period pain? Why leave is a necessity? God!!!— Divya Tripathi (@DivyaTr38157963) August 13, 2020
People who argued there's full gender equality now...have to see this.. actually how sexist and anti women our society is
This is one and there are several issues for which PILs can be filed to make clear rules and regulations pertaining to issues faced by women.— Vijayalakshmi (@vijiology) August 13, 2020
A wrong judgement from advocate's office...— ☠ மிடில்பென்ச் - Nambiya(MG)R ☠ (@jhambt) August 14, 2020
But poor india is expecting truth from those guys...
So educating.. I strongly believe even in attendence one should not be marked absent for taking leave for painful mensuration...— Saumya Singh Chauhan (M.B.B.S) (@SShiningTurtle) August 13, 2020
It is important that we understand that period pain can be extremely debilitating. While individuals have the right to take that leave or not, to completely disregard the concept of period leaves is only further hampering gender equality.