Menstrual leaves are the paid or unpaid leaves conferred by an organization to female employees in case of severe period cramps and pain. Asian nations were the first ones to execute this while the rest of the countries is still disputing concerning the requirement of it. However, the women workforce shrinks to take such leaves, and the goal for which the system was executed is not completed. Few circumstances have to be analyzed such as the health of women workforce in the established and disorganized divisions of the economy, their economic status and requirement of jobs as a part of their existence, amenities granted per se through times of menstruation and the societal stigmas before terminating the argument. This has obtained momentum in the concern of labor dilemmas and well-being. Examining how effective menstrual leaves were for different Asian countries and how it could or not be formed for Indian society is the suggestion of contemporary writing.

KeywordsMenstrual Leaves, Women Workforce, Menstruation, Paid Leaves


A standard deviation is seen in the modern-day community due to the impact of westernization and technology in most of the developing nations. But what controls is the stigmatization in the thoughts of people. Every government endeavor to bring in rules and ordinance which is flexible to the growing and troublesome situation in the society. But a general problem encountered is the non-synchronized implementation of the persistence for which a law or a regulation was legislated. Though most of the Asian nations have taken a move forward, India is discussing whether the nation necessitates a law to monitor menstrual leaves or not.

Is such a policy truly being accepted?

Japan was the earliest nation to begin in such a leave policy in 1947. In Indonesia, under the labor act no. 13 in 2003, women possess a right to two days of menstrual leave per month. 

In South Korea, not solely are female employees authorized to menstrual leave according to article 71 of the labor standards law, but they are also guaranteed further pay if they do not apprehend the menstrual leave that they are authorized to. 

In Taiwan, the act of gender equality in employment provides women three days of “menstrual leave” per year, which will not be counted toward the common sick holiday, providing women health-related leaves per year too.

The main purpose behind starting such policy was to generate a positive environment for the womenfolk in the workspace accompanying strengthening gender equality by considering and allowing the natural means which they have to go within. Menstruation-related symptoms (Mrs) are distinct and comprehensive among women.

 symptoms incorporate dysmenorrhoea, hefty menstrual bleeding, and premenstrual cognitive distress. Following most of the active working population falls within the term gap of 20-35 years, there is a severe constraint to examine the influence of menstrual cycles on work.

This issue was unusually debated amongst the people several years ago. With sustained attempts by activist groups and people, it’s a subject of discussion now. Though many organizations chose such management, women are not prepared to secure the use of such leaves. In a discussion, a woman employee asserts that she was hesitant to share information concerning her menstrual cycle with her co-workers as she worried it could drive to sexual harassment. Also, many feel entitlements as such may showcase them as the more vulnerable gender. In nations like China where an employee’s capabilities and progression are solely judged by the number of hours they serve, the women force resist missing their work despite the torture they go through.

Though the equivalent has earned a decisive result in the UK and USA, menstrual leaves in the above nations are not being authorized to the fullest, and the determination for which it was founded is not obeyed.

What might be the condition in India?

Though India is fast expanding, its female labor force assistance rate is just 23.3%. Though the gender ratio adjacent to the education of females is firmly developing, a declining proportion of labor employment is apparent. 

Women estimate for 32% of the workforce in the unofficial economy. Receiving paid with benefits is not mandatory in such divisions, thus leaving no doors accessible for menstrual leaves. Most utmost of the nation’s endeavoring such scales as a performance opportunity is unsettled with few exemptions. Especially in India, the female workforce in the informal or unorganized sector covers many obstacles and maintain their jobs by acquiring entity. The significant purpose being poverty and every portion of a family in such a situation has to strive for their wellbeing.

 also, considering the women have struggled for all this while without complaining about her periodical cycle, the owners will not be supportive too. This is the dilemma with the workforce about economically weaker strata of the community.

The organized sector must present securities and profits for all its workers. But with the scenario witnessed in the earlier countries, menstrual leave is an obscure issue.

preferably, they want companies to propose strategies that give more numerous sick leaves. Every age group has its requirements and it’s challenging for the corporations to fulfill all the requirements. A company cannot rise sick leaves for women employees solely. Additionally, modern women think that being passionate about the period difficulty makes them weaker in the eyes of the community. Nevertheless, westernized the nation is going to be, talking openly menstruation and its consequences are a taboo in Indian society. Thus, many female workers reside silent and prefer to stay quiet on the on-going issue.

But determining it to be not a significant policy based on a few assumptions is not a sanctioned choice.

Most of the female working-class execute multi-tasks, from running their homes to accomplishing their work experience. Amidst this, a day or two breaks throughout such time would be advantageous mentally and physically. Also, such short-term leaves should not determine the suitability and acceptability of women’s workforce as contrasted to their male analogy. Women in India get compensated much less than men, consequently, even if they are allowed a few days of additional leave, it would not recompense for their considerably lower wages

The subsequent significant obstacle is the unfavourable restroom circumstances in the workplace for women. Though corporations in the organized sector and unorganized sector are modern cities implement such, it is a disregarded issue. Urban Indian today has flawed, lacking, turning, and unsanitary toilet base that does not encourage working women. Indian businesses, whether big and bustling or small and striving, are still imbued with cost-cutting to the elimination of any deliberate attempt to make workplaces women employee-friendly in distinct.  For women, not holding a safe private place for swapping used menstrual stuff may commence to anxiety and strain, and in turn, reduce congestion and potency. Thus, during intervals of menstruation, women expect access to adequate amenities such as sanitation, relevant hygiene materials, and assistance for disposal, a supportive environment where they can accomplish their menstruation without any complications.


The main difficulty in society is misunderstanding and ignorance to comprehend the matter before reflecting on it. It can fairly be accused of society itself for addressing common concerns sensitive to handle. One such concern is about menstruation. Issues rotating throughout it get classified when a debate on menstruation becomes normalized. Answers to issues associating with the necessity of menstrual leaves get unlatched when one gets to understand the physical and psychological differences which a female has to experience at such events.

In this instance, paid leaves are better. This is useful for women’s force in the unorganized division. They can gain up for that by operating for extra hours. For the unities in the corporate or organized sector, an alternative like ‘work from home’ is accessible and can operate on any weekend of the month. If a worker can perform their work in a convenient time, there isn’t much obligation too. In this way, companies can make sure that the employees don’t see this as an excuse to forego their duties.

If menstrual leaves are not a mandatory advantage, assuring proper toilet amenities as explained above must be presented ubiquitously. Thus, the company can be compliant with the working hours during such a period. The employees can enhance their potency to par with their work and other associates later on, within a fixed interval by the employer itself.

Menstruation is as tangible as any other body process which occurs in females and being ashamed to accept in itself the most significant misconception. The frontline feminism’s theory is valid until all the women don’t feel the consequences of menstruation. Attention is necessary while expressing any policy, rules, or law.

The discussion on the ‘menstruation benefit bill’ delayed by a member of parliament in Lok Sabha depicting Arunachala Pradesh in 2018, triggered a comprehensive analysis on the need to have menstrual leave scheme for working women each month. The policymakers of the nation must take severe steps concerning these present issues and a statement as such if executed will make a positive effect and would be a comfort to various and India requires one.

Author: Varun Vikas Srivastav,
Amity Law School, Amity University Noida and 4th Year BBA.LLB

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