New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine a PIL seeking direction to state governments to frame rules for menstrual pain leaves for female students and working women.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari mentioned the plea for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and it agreed to consider the plea on February 24.
The plea, filed by advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi, said: “Few states provided menstrual pain leaves and ancillary benefits, women in their counterpart states are still bereft of any such benefits. It is accordingly a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution inasmuch as the Maternity Benefit Act differentiates women in the name of federalism and state policies.”
The plea contended that Bihar introduced menstrual leave for women employees in 1992, however menstrual periods have been largely disregarded by society, government, and other stakeholders, but some organisations and states have taken notice of it.
The plea pointed out there are several companies, especially startups, in India which are offering period leave, even without any legal obligation.
It further added that despite the fact that women suffer from similar physiological and health issues during their menstrual cycles, they are being treated differently in different states of India.
The plea cited that the UK, China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, and Zambia, are already providing menstrual pain leave in one form or another.
It further added that the Clinical Evidence Handbook pointed out 20 percent of women suffered from symptoms like cramps, nausea, etc that are debilitating enough to hamper daily activities.
The plea said according to a research by the University College London, the pain a female experiences while menstruating is equivalent to the pain a person experiences during a heart attack.