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'No proposal under consideration': Union Minister Smriti Irani on mandatory paid menstrual leaves

In written reply in Lok Sabha, Smriti Irani at present, there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make provision for paid menstrual leave mandatory for all workplaces.

Arushi Jaiswal Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Published on: December 08, 2023 22:43 IST
Smriti Irani
Image Source : PTI Union Minister Smriti Irani

Menstrual leaves: Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said that there is no proposal under consideration of the government to make provision for paid menstrual leave mandatory for all workplaces. Irani was replying to a question by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

In her written reply to Lok Sabha, Irani said that menstruation is a physiological phenomenon among women and only a small proportion of women or girls suffer from severe dysmenorrhea or similar complaints; and most of these cases are manageable by medication.

Here's what Smriti Irani said on menstrual leave

"At present, there is no proposal under consideration of the Government to make provision for paid menstrual leave mandatory for all workplaces. However, various types of leave are available to a female Government employee under Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972 in the form of Earned Leave, Half Pay Leave, Extra Ordinary Leave, Child Care Leave, Commuted Leave, Maternity Leave, Leave on Medical Certificate, Leave Not due, etc," Irani said in her reply.

The Minister said that the government implements the Scheme for the promotion of menstrual hygiene among adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years. The Scheme is supported by the National Health Mission through the State Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) route based on the proposals received from the States and UTs. 

"One of the major objectives of the scheme is to increase awareness among adolescent girls on menstrual hygiene. Under the scheme a pack of sanitary napkins packs are provided to adolescent girls by the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) at subsidized rates," she said.

Awareness on Menstrual Hygiene

She said that the government also provides a budget to the States and UTs for the Orientation of field-level health workers and IEC activities for menstrual hygiene. "Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has developed National Guidelines on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) for creating awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in rural areas as part of its overall interventions related to behaviour change on sanitation hygiene aspect," said Irani.

The Minister said that to ensure access to sanitary napkins and good quality medicines at affordable price, the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers implements the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janausadhi Pariyojna (PMBJP), an important step in ensuring the health security for women.

"Under the project, over 10000 Janaushidhi Kendras have been set up across the country, which besides affordable medicines, provide Oxo-biodegradable sanitary napkins named Suvidha at Rs 1 per pad only," she added.

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