Supreme Court to hear plea on menstrual leave for female students, working women on Feb 24

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Supreme Court of India will be hearing a plea filed regarding Menstrual leaves for female students and working women soon. As per the latest update, the Supreme Court will be hearing this PIL for period leaves on Friday, Feruary 24, 2023.

Under this Public Interest Litigation, the Supreme Court has been asked to direct all state governments to frame rules and extend menstrual pain leaves to all female students, working class women at their respective workplaces and educational institutes.

On February 15, 2023, Chief Justice of India, CJI DY Chandrachud posted the matter for hearing on February 24, 2023. The PIL also seeks the compliance of Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961. Under this act, provisions have been made for almost all problems faced by women during pregnancy and maternity.

As per this Act, it is mandatory for employers to grant paid leave to its women employees for a certain number of days during pregnancy, miscarriage, tubectomy operations and in case of illness or medical complications during these stages of maternity.

Under Section 14 of the act, there will be an inspector for a particular area who would look after the implementation of these provisions. However, the petition argues that no such inspector has been appointed and that the Government has not even created the post of these inspectors.

The petition puts forth the need for menstrual leaves. ” Menstrual period has been knowingly or unknowingly ignored by the society, the legislature and other stakeholders in the society except few organizations and state governments, which raises a question on the intent of the whole society with regard to recognizing and respecting women rights, especially during their difficult times related to different stages of maternity, the monthly leave to working women during their menstrual period,” stated the petition.

The petition further stated that Bihar is the only state which has been providing two days of period leaves for women since 1992. Similarly, in 1912, Government Girls School in Cochin had allowed students to take period leaves during their exams and permitted them to appear for the examination later.

Recently, the Kerala Government also introduced menstrual leaves and paternity leaves in all colleges and universities affiliated to the Department of Higher Education. The petition pushed for menstrual leaves all across India. The matter has been listed at last and will be heard on Friday. Stay tuned for the latest updates.

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