You’re Wrong, Ms Irani! Paid Period Leaves Are Actually Economically Beneficial In The Long Run!

Paid period leave is not about treating menstruation as a handicap; it's about acknowledging the biological reality women face monthly, and making a truly inclusive workplace.

In a recent statement in the Rajya Sabha, Smriti Irani dismissed the idea of paid period leave, arguing that menstruation is not a handicap and expressing concerns about potential economic hindrances. This article critically examines this perspective, shedding light on the crucial need to acknowledge and support women’s health, both medically and socially.

Menstruation is a biological reality

Unveiling the Complexity

Let’s dispel the notion that menstruation is a trivial biological process. Medically, it involves a complex interplay of hormonal changes impacting women’s physical and mental well-being.

The agony of dysmenorrhea

Scientifically known as dysmenorrhea, menstrual pain is a legitimate medical condition. Prostaglandins released during menstruation lead to uterine contractions, causing a spectrum of pain from mild discomfort to debilitating agony.

What’s the medical perspective? Why paid period leave matters

Beyond endurance

Understanding period pain in medical terms is crucial. Research shows that severe pain can significantly impair concentration, productivity, and overall job performance, debunking the myth that women can effortlessly power through their work during menstruation.

Equality in the workplace: dispelling misconceptions

Recognizing Reality

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Paid period leave is not about treating menstruation as a handicap; it’s about acknowledging the biological reality women face monthly. It ensures that women can manage their symptoms without compromising their economic opportunities, fostering a workplace that values health irrespective of gender.

There are long-term benefits to having period leave for employees

Contrary to the argument that paid period leave hinders economic opportunities, fostering an inclusive workplace that accommodates women’s needs contributes to increased satisfaction, retention, and productivity. In essence, it fosters gender equality by dismantling barriers that disproportionately affect women.

Feminism and menstrual health

Challenging Stereotypes

From a feminist perspective, Irani’s statement reflects a broader societal issue: the tendency to minimize or dismiss women’s experiences. Feminism advocates for the recognition of women’s bodily autonomy and the right to access accommodations that acknowledge and address their unique experiences.

Globally, there is a shift towards progress and a recognition of the issue

Leading the way

The global shift towards recognizing and implementing paid period leave demonstrates a growing acknowledgment of the benefits for both individuals and organizations. Countries and companies embracing this policy recognize that prioritizing women’s well-being fosters a healthier and more productive workforce.

Progressive leadership

Several global leaders have adopted paid period leave policies as a proactive measure to promote gender equality and destigmatize menstruation. This not only demonstrates a commitment to creating inclusive workplaces but also sets an example for others to follow.


In essence, Smriti Irani’s statement misses the mark on understanding the intricacies of women’s health and the broader implications of paid period leave. Shifting the narrative from viewing menstruation as a hindrance is imperative. Advocating for paid period leave is not a sign of weakness; it is a call for workplace policies that genuinely commit to gender equality and the well-being of all employees.

Join the conversation on women’s health and workplace equality. Share your thoughts on paid period leave using #PeriodEquality. Let’s work together to create workplaces that prioritize the well-being of all employees, irrespective of gender. Your voice matters in fostering a more inclusive and supportive future.

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About the Author

Natasha Perry Thomas

Blogger, Writer and Content Curator. Author of 'Infidelity-An Outrageously Funny Affair and The Ultimate Rom-Com' - available on Kindle. read more...

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