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Why Zomato’s Period Leaves Felt Like Such A Game Changer To Me

Posted: September 17, 2020

In a country where some consider the usage of sanitary napkins to be a luxury for women, Zomato’s period leaves are worth applauding.

Online food ordering aggregator Zomato’s decision to introduce 10 day period leaves for all women (including any transmen who may need menstrual leave), is aptly a silver lining amongst the clouds.

The idea of promoting fairness amongst men and women is rare in our country. But this move by Zomato is truly commendable. Deepinder Goyal, Zomato’s Founder and CEO, mentioned, “At Zomato, we want to foster a culture of trust, truth and acceptance. Starting today, all women (including transgender people) at Zomato can avail up to 10 days of period leaves in a year.” (Source: Introducing period leaves for women)

This decision comes as a breath of fresh air amidst the stifling that throttles women and their aspirations every day! It is appalling to see how girls are still being killed at birth or even in the womb. And if they are ‘allowed’ to see the light of the day, then all through their life, they are expected to dance to the tunes of their male ‘caretakers’ ranging from their fathers to their sons.

Sometimes at the workplace, a woman finds herself struggling to voice her opinions or even access her basic rights; thus, equality still remains a distant dream and women empowerment a farce!

The theory that men and women are born with different physiological attributes is known to all but supported only by a few. How many acknowledge the pain a woman undergoes during ‘that time of the month’? But these are the same individuals who admonish women during their menstrual cycle for ‘PMSing’!

The phrase ‘PMSing’ has become an insult to women who are constantly accused of throwing unnecessary tantrums when actually their behaviour is triggered by a genuine situation or person.

Zomato’s move is also a reminder that women should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to apply for period leaves as these are necessary. A woman’s physiological health is at its weakest during her menstruation and utmost care is needed to take care of the same.

Many pseudo-feminists are against this move to show how strong they are and that this is quite an unnecessary benefit that they are being given. However these are the same individuals who create a hue and cry about not being privileged to earn a seat on public transport!

Thus, it is insensitive and insensible to react negatively towards this move and instead we should embrace this as an aptly earned right.

In a country where some states still consider washrooms or usage of sanitary napkins to be a luxury for women, this declaration by the online food aggregator is worth applauding.

It is truly shameful that women are ostracised or kept in separate rooms when they are menstruating. They are denied entry into the kitchen or even prevented from touching some food items like pickle lest they get spoilt. Which era are we living in? Are these rituals based on any well researched theories or just like any other social stereotypes, these are baselessly being superimposed on women?

The fact that Zomato’s policy applies to transgendered people as well goes on to prove the empathetic culture that is predominant in the organization. The organization also helps in disassociating the social stigma that’s attached to menstruation in general, even though every individual is aware of how normal it is. Thus, when a majority of women are criticized or ridiculed for voicing out the physical pain that they undergo during this biological cycle, Zomato goes on to show their solidarity with these women.

The fact that the online food aggregator even normalises the concept of applying for period leaves through an e-mail communication is noteworthy. However a gnawing concern looms large on many minds regarding the misuse of these leaves (just as some women or people may misuse any other right accessible to them.)

Since the declaration was made public by Zomato on August 8th 2020, there have been mixed reviews; there are some who believe that women who avail these period leaves would automatically shirk their responsibilities and also expect a ‘special treatment’; these were the same individuals who thought that maternity leaves were too much of a reward for a woman, least realizing how difficult things become for women during these times.

The other group considers this as a great move because through such a gesture Zomato or any other organization (who decide to follow suit anytime soon) reveals their humanitarian side; this also means that they give women the much needed comfort that they seek during their difficult times and that she would not have to necessarily camouflage a period leave as a ‘headache’ or a ‘family function’!

Though this move by Deepinder Goyal and team is still under a lot of deliberation and argumentation, as a woman it makes me happy that this came in as a pleasant surprise from the opposite gender. This goes on to show that we are slowly moving towards gender-sensitisation, though a complete 360 degree shift is still a distant dream.

Whether Zomato’s gesture leads some women to become manipulative and use this to their advantage or makes women much more productive, only time will tell. As of now let us sit back and bask in the glory of such harmless, warm sensitivities shown by the real feminists who are not all women!

First published here.

Image credits: Pexels

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