Zomato, a global food-distribution company based in India, was praised for introducing the Period Leave policy. Its chief executive says there is no “shame or stigma” in applying for modern time.
How many days in a month have you missed work or requested a day off for abdominal pain and cramps due to menstruation?
Zomato, one of India’s largest food-distribution firms, asked its 4,000 employees, 35 percent of whom are women, to announce a new pay-for-leave policy for employees on Saturday. Not common among large global companies, this policy leaves a period of 10 days a year and applies to transgender employees.
The policy is considered a bold step to tackle an age-old taboo in India, where 71 percent of young women, according to UNICEF, remain unaware of menstruation until their first cycle.
The company’s founder and CEO, Deepinder Goyal, said in a statement to his employees, “There should be no shame or stigma associated with applying for term leave. You should feel free to let people know by internal groups, or over email, that you are on a day off. “
He said, “It’s a part of life.”
Zomato’s period leave made headlines around the world and garnered social media users and women’s rights advocates.
“This is a really progressive step, It has been said for a long time”, Rituparna Chatterjee, freelance journalist, and columnist, who is also the Director of Communications at an Indian organization, Ungender Legal Advisor, aims to help companies achieve gender inclusion.
“It gives the option – what we don’t have when we had the option to rest in pain, “Now at least the employees who work for Zomato have.”” she said on the Zomato’s move on period leave.
For decades, menstruation has been a barrier to women’s equality. The menstrual cycle can cause a variety of painful symptoms that continue with each cycle until menopause, usually between the ages of 45 and 55.
Symptoms of the menstrual cycle may include pelvic and lower back pain, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings caused by fluctuating hormonal levels. Pain-related to periods, also called dysmenorrhea, is common worldwide. It often affects school and workplace performance and can worsen with age. According to a 2012 study, painful periods interrupt the daily activities of 20 percent of women.
In some parts of the world, women face discrimination, are forced to endure menstrual pain in silence in the workplace or lose payment to stay home. In Nepal, girls are locked in “period huts” during their cycle because they are considered polluted, even toxic. The practice has had fatal consequences. In 2017, a teenager was bitten and killed by a poisonous snake in western Nepal.
Why this Period leave means a lot in India ?
In India, seeing menstruation as a prohibition does real harm, author Rose George notes the “prohibition of menstruation”. Women face discrimination and superstition, sanitary supplies remain unavailable or unaffected, and access to safe and hygienic toilet facilities serves as an obstacle to the management of menstrual hygiene.
Countries have made progress in addressing issues from time to time to deal with the “tampon tax”. The Scottish Parliament this year passed a bill to make pads and tampons free across the board. But Zomato’s policy is the latest step to end widespread outdated workplace policies. In Japan, for example, Yumi Ishikawa, a model, actress, and temporary worker, collected 18,000 signatures for a petition to end the employer dress code that forces women to wear heels.
Zomato is not the first Indian company to start a period of leave. In the state of Bihar, there is a casual leave of two days for taking time out since 1992 for government employees. In 2017, digital media company Culture Machine, which has offices in five cities in India, implemented a menstrual holiday policy independent of vacation and sick days. Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Zambia also have menstrual holiday policies.
While advocates say the policy should be widely expanded, others say that the extra days can hamper progress in the workplace of women, and its use of low wages and bias against hiring women Is done to justify.
But Zomato – a food aggregator that has grown to become one of the world’s largest food firms in 12 years, is looking to achieve Uber’s food-distribution business in India this year and maintain a presence in 24 countries and in more than 10,000 cities For – Moving forward.
Company employees can apply for term leave through the human resources portal, its statement said and will have a sexual harassment team to respond to any employees experiencing harassment to take time off.
Zomato – Period leave
The Chief Executive Officer of Zomato, Mr. Goyal, about the period leave, said in his statement, “It is our job to ensure that we make room for our biological needs while not lowering the bar for the quality of our work and the impact we create. “
Ms. Chatterjee stated that the classification of paid period leave of the company is important, this distinguishes it from a few days of casual leave and can conduct a national conversation.
“There are a significant number of women working as domestic workers in the unorganized labor sector, and no house gives them a day when they have a period,” Ms. Chatterjee said. “It should be a conversation so that it becomes normal.”