Opposing the concept of paid menstrual leaves for women, Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said in the Rajya Sabha that menstruation and the menstrual cycle are not a handicap.
“As a menstruating woman, menstruation and the menstruation cycle are not a handicap; it’s a natural part of women’s life journey…” Irani said.
She was answering a question by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Manoj Kumar Jha in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Jha inquired about the government’s initiatives regarding mandatory provisions for employers to provide a specific number of leaves to female employees.
Smriti Irani added, “We should not propose issues where women are in some way denied an equal opportunity just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation.”
Meanwhile, acknowledging the importance of menstrual hygiene, Irani announced the formulation of a draft national policy by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.