Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Though creating awareness among women about their monthly cycle is still considered a taboo subject in many parts of the country, an Odia girl has gone a step forward by raising her voice about paid leave during periods at the Civil Society Conference 2024 of the United Nations. 

Odisha's Ranjeeta Priyadarshini grabbed attention across the globe by raising the important stigma-attached issue while representing in the prestigious conference held in Nairobi from May 9-10.

Ranjeeta reportedly got an overwhelming response from all the delegates about the issue – ‘Paid Period Leave’ that she raised in the special forum.

“I am working for ‘Paid Period Leave’ for all women employees. I request everyone here to support ‘Paid Period Leave’ for women employees. If ‘period leave’ is implemented, women employees will get support during their menstruation while on duty. It’s a request that if you support the issue, it will help many women employees all over the world,” said Ranjeeta at the Civil Society Conference amid huge applause from delegates across the globe.

“One of the most underreported reasons is discomfort from being on the ground while menstruating. I have encountered in numerous cases where women workers suffered during their periods while at work due to lack of access to proper toilets, restrooms and many more,” said Ranjeeta.

Earlier, Ranjeeta had launched an online campaign urging the Union Labour Ministry to implement paid monthly period leave for all women workers in India. 

“According to Article 15 (3) and Article 42 of the Constitution, the state shall create special provisions for women providing just and humane conditions for work. There should be no shame or stigma attached to requesting a period leave. A monthly menstrual cycle paid leave, if passed, will provide a healthier working environment for all workers who menstruate. I demand respect for me and all women workers because we are the backbone of our economy,” said Ranjeeta.