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Kathmandu Company Implements Menstrual Leave Policy and Wins Hearts All Over

Indian companies should really take note

Runa Mukherjee Parikh | News18 Specials@tweetruna

Updated:July 27, 2016, 2:10 PM IST
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Kathmandu Company Implements Menstrual Leave Policy and Wins Hearts All Over
Indian companies should really take note
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After the UK based company Coexist decided to implement a menstrual leave policy in March this year, one of India’s neighbours has taken the bold step ahead as well. From June, Nepal’s well known online shopping website, Sasto Deal (SD), has started giving time off to those employees who feel physically incapable of working effectively during their period.

With half of the women in the world who menstruate going through painful periods, the subject is pretty real. So, there wasn’t any particular incident but a general consensus that triggered this policy at the Kathmandu based company.

“All the female employees would feel uncomfortable (not because of male colleagues but due to the natural functioning of their bodies) and inefficient at the workplace during that time of month. We felt comfortable resting and working from home instead. Personally, one day, when I wasn’t feeling good, I took a leave and decided to work from home. I realized I was more productive at home,” said Richa Rajbhandari, business development manager at SD.

With the implementation of the policy came the laurels within the company. Ayushree Thapa, SD’s creative content manager explained, “Understanding and recognizing that men and women are different, that equality does not mean the two genders function the same way, is important. In its truest form, this is actually a step closer to equality in the workplace, where men and women work together and both genders understand the differences between each other.”

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The men have lauded the policy, too. “If you get sick, you take a break. If you are unable to work, you take a break. I am sure there are some iron ladies who have no symptoms at all but for most, there is at least one miserable day during this time. So yeah, it's perfectly fine to take a break,” said SD’s CTO, Sodhan Manadhar.

The said leaves can be taken every month, depending on how well the women employees feel. This however does not mean they get four days off every month.

Menstrual leave has been legit in all of Japan since 1947, and has been successful in Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and certain parts of China as well. While Sastodeal is trying to be the pioneer of such an initiative in Kathmandu, thereby opening the gate of speaking about this ‘till date taboo’ subject out in the open, India should really take note.

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