‘Menstrual leaves’ have become an ongoing topic of debate. Meanwhile, records show that a government Kerala school has been permitting the students leaves since 1912.
Yes, a century ago the Government Girls School in Tripunithura granted menstrual leaves. During the annual examinations, the school permitted the students to write it on another day. A book stated that P Bhaskaranunni, the headteacher had requested the higher authorities to permit leaves to teachers and students as they were absent during that time anyway.
‘Kerala: In The 19th Century’ also stated “Tests were conducted regularly and it was necessary for students to appear for the tests. But, it had become an issue in Tripunithura girls school where students and women teachers would not come during the time of menstruation.”
Isn’t it interesting that they granted leaves when the topic of menstrual cycles and periods were a taboo? And now when the taboo is a little less, there is a whole debate taking place on whether they want it should be granted. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had this to say:
“Women suffer from various physical difficulties during the time of menstruation. Now, debates on period leave are coming up. Serious debates should happen on the matter considering menstruation as a biological process.”
Two Mumbai- based companies have introduced leaves and it caused a debate in the whole country.