Is ‘period leave’ the right intervention for working women? | In Focus podcast

Arti Raghavan sits down with us to trace the legal standing of menstrual pain leave in India over the decades and the potential impact of such a measure on employers and women employees across the country.

March 03, 2023 04:01 pm | Updated 05:28 pm IST

On February 24th, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a PIL seeking period leave for students and working women. The three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, observed that the issue had “different” dimensions and asked the petitioner to approach the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to frame a policy.

The court also took note of a caveat filed by a law student, which said that compelling employers to grant menstrual pain leave could act as a “disincentive” for employers when it comes to hiring women.

Is the question of period leave purely a matter of gender rights – in terms of acknowledging women’s biological difference and accommodating it through affirmative action? Or is it a bad idea because it will increase gender discrimination against women at the point of recruitment? What kind of a policy intervention, if any, would be appropriate in this context?

Guest: Arti Raghavan, an advocate practising at the Bombay High Court.

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

Edited by Jude Francis Weston

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