Under the Department of Higher Education, the government of Kerala has issued an official order granting menstrual and maternity leave of 60 days to all female University going students who are above the age of 18.
The percentage bar including menstrual leave has been set at 73% for female students, which was initially set at 75% for all students.
The Higher Education Minister in Kerala, R. Bindu, declared that maternity leave would be granted to all female students who attend the university and are above the age of 18.
She told the press, “Girl students above 18 years of age can get a maximum of 60 days of maternity leave. The required attendance percentage for female students will be 73 per cent, including the menstrual leave, as against 75 per cent earlier. The order has been issued in this regard.”
Menstrual Leave In All State Universities
The Kerala Higher Education Minister, R. Bindu, also claimed that the government has taken into consideration the proposal of granting menstrual leaves in all state universities as per the announcement made by the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).
In a press release, Ms. Bindu proclaimed, “Considering the mental and physical difficulties faced by female students during menstruation, the Kerala government is planning to extend this to all universities under the State Higher Education Department.”
Demands From the Students Union
The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) reveals that the idea of granting menstrual leave to female students was proposed by a Students Union led by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and several other student organizations.
Ms. Bindu, praising the SFI for their initiative, commented, “It is most gratifying to see the success of the student leadership and the university leadership working together to create a befitting continuation of the ongoing women empowerment activities initiated by the Department of Higher Education.”
After the proposal put forward by the students was approved, the Vice Chancellor issued an order on January 14, 2023, to grant menstrual leave to the female students studying at the university.
Dr. Poornima Narayanan, a Syndicate member of CUSAT, told the media, “This is a much-needed gesture from the university towards the female students. In the future, the academic world has to think about introducing menstrual leave for girl students.’’
The CUSAT also declared that the compulsory attendance percentage will be brought down from 75% to 73% every semester, thus allowing a 2% absence for all female students.
The Need For Menstrual Leave
Menstruation is a very difficult time of the month for the majority of women. They experience an emotional rollercoaster as well as severe physical pain.
Dr. Kiran Coelho, one of the top gynecologists in India, told “Vogue” in 2022, “Sure, 80 per cent will not have any pain. But 20 per cent have debilitating pain.”
She added, “Premenstrual tension is also so severe, that it’s sometimes classified as PMDD, or Prementrual Dysphoric Disorder. I have to put these girls on oral contraceptives because otherwise some of them have to get hospitalised every month.”
The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, also thinks it is a very progressive idea to introduce maternity and menstrual leaves for women in universities.
Mr. Vijayan said, “Once again, Kerala sets a model for the nation. Menstrual and maternity leave will be granted to female students of all institutions under our department of higher education, reaffirming the LDF government’s commitment to realising a gender just society.”
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This post is tagged under: Kerela, Kerela government, Department of Higher Education, periods, menstruation, period cramps, emotional turmoil, physical pain, women, students, University students, maternity leave, menstrual leave, adult women, law, government, order, SFI, CUSAT, gynaecology, Students Union, Kerela University students
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