NHRC to conduct research on issue of paid period leave for working women

Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will conduct research on the issue of paid period leave for working women across India, including Odisha, as a matter of empowerment of women and ensuring their rights.
After completion of the research, the final decision will be taken by the chairperson and all other members (Full Commission) of the NHRC. The Commission said this on Monday in response to a petition filed by human rights activist and lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, a native of Odisha.
“Though most of the working women get maternity benefits, they are not getting period leave during their menstrual pain. It is stated that Bihar is providing two days of special menstrual pain leave to women. Some Indian companies are offering paid period leaves to its women employees,” said Tripathy.
According to the NHRC order, there is a provision under section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that there will be an inspector for a particular area to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Act. But the state governments have not created the post of inspectors.
The petitioner urged the Commission for an integrated, comprehensive, and holistic provision for working women in India. He also advocated for the formulation of a policy and administrative measures for ensuring the basic dignity of working women, help during menstruation, and measures to prevent infections during such periods.
The Commission has considered the petition which comes within the realm of policy formulation. It has directed its registry to transfer the complaint to the research division of the NHRC for taking a call on the same by interacting with members of the core group of women.
During the last few years, there have been growing discussions and deliberations around the menstrual leave policies in the country. Some companies have started providing period leaves to their women workers.
Attempts have been made to introduce menstrual leave bills in Parliament, but it did not succeed. The Menstruation Benefits Bill was introduced in 2017 and another bill related to menstrual rights came in 2018.

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