Union Women and Child Development (WCD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Smriti Irani on Wednesday presented her stand against paid menstrual leave.
The BJP Union Minister commented that menstruation is not a ‘handicap’ and hence there is no need for a ‘paid leave policy’.
Last week, Smriti Irani, while replying to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, had said in the Lok Sabha that no proposal to make paid menstrual leave mandatory for all workplaces is under consideration of the government.
Smriti Irani was answering a question asked by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Manoj Kumar Jha in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday on menstrual hygiene policy.
She said “As a menstruating woman, menstruation and the menstruation cycle is not a handicap, it’s a natural part of women’s life journey…We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation”.
She further said, “However, the issue of menstruation and its associated activities are surrounded by silence, often treated with shame and associated with social taboos that restrict mobility, freedom and access to normal activities for menstruating persons, and many a time leads to their harassment and social exclusion. It becomes even more sensitive when a girl/ menstruating person is unaware of the changes that she undergoes emotionally and physically, while facing her menstrual cycle for the first time.”
Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prepared a draft menstrual hygiene policy in consultation with stakeholders.
She told the House that the Center is already implementing a scheme to promote menstrual hygiene among girls in the age group of 10-19.
Smriti Irani said that the Health Ministry has prepared the draft menstrual hygiene policy in consultation with stakeholders. Irani also highlighted other initiatives taken by various ministries to promote menstrual hygiene.
Smriti Irani said that raising awareness about menstrual hygiene is a key area of focus under the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ component of Mission Shakti implemented by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for the safety and empowerment of women. going.