Delhi HC directs PIL, for paid period leave, to the Centre

The plea highlights the common distress caused by menstruation and seeks action from the Centre

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The Delhi High Court on Monday, directed to the Centre and the Delhi government the public interest litigation (PIL), which seeks paid leave for women employees during their menstruation period, for consideration as a reprsentation.

The division bench of the High Court was presided by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan. They asked the concerned authorities to treat the petition in accordance with the law and as early as possible, in a practical manner.

The petition was filed by the Delhi Labour Union through advocate Rajiv Agarwal, seeking paid leave for four days every month for all women employees, including contractual, outsourced and daily- wage workers. The petition seeks overtime pay for all women employees, including officers, in case they opt to work during their period.

The petition draws attention to the fact that the physical discomfort as well as emotional stress that a significant number of women workers and professionals who menstruate undergo is not even acknowledge or given any thought. It further mentioned the physical distress that menstruating women suffer in the form of menstrual cramps, nausea, and dizziness.

Highlighting the complications associated with menstruation, the petition stressed on how the phenomenon is considered a taboo and still not discussed openly in society. There is a lack of official recognition for this tangible physical condition, and therefore, women employees lack the opportunity to voice their grievances.

The petition seeks for the creation of an agency for women employees to openly speak up for menstrual benefits.

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