17 Jan 2023 5:27 AM GMT
The Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice in Kerala, Dr. R. Bindu, has declared that steps would be taken to introduce menstrual leaves in all Universities under the Higher Education Department in the State. The Minister, in her Facebook post on Monday, stated, "Taking into consideration the mental and physical difficulties faced by female students during menstruation, necessary...
The Minister for Higher Education and Social Justice in Kerala, Dr. R. Bindu, has declared that steps would be taken to introduce menstrual leaves in all Universities under the Higher Education Department in the State.
The Minister, in her Facebook post on Monday, stated, "Taking into consideration the mental and physical difficulties faced by female students during menstruation, necessary steps will be taken to implement menstrual leave in all universities".
Praising the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), for being the first educational institution in the State to extend such menstrual benefits, and the students' union therein for their efforts in this regard, the Minister said that the CUSAT model had inspired the government.
"Every student needs at least 75% attendance per semester to sit for exams. But, with the introduction of menstrual leave, CUSAT has reduced that to 73%. Extending the same to all universities will be a great relief for female students", the Minister said.
CUSAT had issued an order providing menstrual benefits for the girl students in the University.
As per the order dated January 11, 2023, girl students can now claim an additional condonation of 2% of the attendance in each semester. As per the University norms, only students who have 75% attendance of the total working days would be allowed to appear for the semester examinations, and those falling short of the requisite period would have to submit applications seeking permission for condonation and produce medical certificates to justify their absence. A condonation fee would also have to be remitted in addition to the same.
The new order of the University was issued when the CUSAT Students Union approached the authorities with a request seeking 24 days’ leave a year with two days’ leave each in every menstrual cycle for both students and staff. However, due to the difficulties in implementation of the same, and there having been no such policy decision of the government, the University decided to grant the aforementioned menstrual benefits to girl students for every semester.
"I feel so happy that everybody is talking about periods so normally. Equality is actually giving equal opportunities; not giving equal things to all. So if women experience some difficulties due to periods pain, they need to be given some benefits. That is the basic concept of reservation also in fact. If somebody is having some struggles in achieving the same things as others, they must be given some additional benefits, which is not against equality. It is in fact, the very spirit of equality. So if some people opine that this is not equality and it in fact makes women weaker, then they do not really understand the meaning of the concept of equality very well", says Namita George, chairperson of the CUSAT Students' Union.
As per media reports, the APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University is also likely to introduce menstrual and maternity benefits for the colleges affiliated to the University, and it may consider the representations made by the University union in this regard, in the meeting of the Board of Governors on Tuesday.