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Chitra Ratnaker

Chitra Ratnaker

BlogUp Partner at LifeBeyondNumbers
Extrovert, gregarious and friendly. In my previous life I was an engineer however my passion for writing made me take a content writing job. I dabble in music, and love to read. Coffee, sugar and Internet keeps me going!
Chitra Ratnaker

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Our eyes have bulged out in excitement and awe. The headline itself has given you all women a reason to rejoice, especially for all the female employees of Culture Machine, Mumbai. And if you are in what people call, “that time of the month”, this news has eased your pain a little.

Females can very well characterize with the pain and hassle of periods. It is such a pain in the ass or should we say ovary!! With a ridiculous urge to eat everything and anything comes cramps and mood swings. But they actually aren’t mood swings, they are what we call, mood roller coasters.

women periods leave

Nausea, bloating and an irresistible urge to do nothing at all. Feel me, girls? To men, it is just another ranting about “periods that come every month”. But in addition to the much needed tender loving care, chocolates and tolerating us when we are not at our best, the most required thing is a day off from work.

Working on the first day of your periods is always dreadful. You just don’t want to get out of bed, be left alone or worse sit at a place without feeling to get up. Gingerly reaching out for your pad every few hours while at work, you cannot help but wonder, why can’t you just get a day off.

Culture Machine, a digital media company based in Mumbai has taken a foot forward for its female employees. Culture Machine runs the popular women-centric channel Blush on YouTube. Blush offers stories, ideas, inspiration, news, entertainment and perspectives, all in celebration of the women urging them to be unapologetically and undeniably themselves.

Owing to the fact that a woman’s productivity decreases during the first couple of days, several countries like Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia, and South Korea, have a special leave chart for women. Following suit, Culture Machine has introduced leave to its 75 female employees, on the first day of their periods. Most women don’t like to call in sick leave unless they absolutely have to on Day 1 of their period; many of them are not exactly in the mental or physiological state to move on with life as usual. These new leave policy will be called “First Day of Period Leave”. Yes! #FOPLeave.

So this leave won’t come under causal leave neither will it be counted as sick leave, it will be counted as a legitimate ‘first day of the period leave’.

Devleena S Majumder, President of Human Resources, at the Culture Machine says, “The idea was to organize the core organizational values to the content (women-centric) that we create. The first day is obviously a not so comfortable day for most [women]. It’s time we face the reality. This is not an embarrassment. This is part of life.”

Overlooking patriarchy,  Ruchir Joshi, Head of Content at the Culture Machine says, “A lot of times I find men complaining about the fact that  “oh but she gets her period and she gets a day off or gets to sit idle and not do any work” But the realisation we need to have is that we don’t understand their pain and we don’t go through it and if we were to probably have that kind of discomfort, we would possibly not be coming to office or not doing any work at that point of time.

As a matter of fact, the pain cannot be taken away but the work environment can be made more conducive.

Apart from these, they have also started a cause wherein they will be urging workplaces to introduce the concept of “first day of period leave”. You too can join in the cause and sign the petition on this link.

What’s your opinion about this leave policy?

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