One of the largest media companies in Kerala, Mathrubhumi, has decided to offer first day of period leave to its women employees.
“There is no use talking about women’s empowerment. We should understand women and be with them,” M V Shreyams Kumar, MLA and Joint Managing Director of the Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Co Ltd, told The Indian Express.
Kumar said that the decision was inspired by Culture Machine’s new policy of giving women their first day of period off. The company had also put out a video announcing their new policy, which quickly went viral, and has sparked widespread debate over whether women should be given this kind of leave.
Culture Machine has also started an online petition through which it advocates implementation of period leave in companies.
“Now, we want the rest of the women in India to have the same right. We want them to be able to avail an FOP Leave because there is no need to justify that horrendous period pain,” says the petition.
Mathrubhumi will implement the new policy in its TV news channel first. Kumar has said that the company may implement the policy in other divisions of the group at a later time.
Mathrubhumi is a much older organisation than Culture Machine. It was founded in 1923, and has 16 editions, including overseas ones. It has a news channel and a music channel, and has also forayed into book publishing and setting up FM radio stations. There are over 70 women employees in the TV news channel, says Kumar.
What do you think? Is the phenomenon of first day of period leave empowering for women, or is it a step back?