The Supreme Court today has agreed to list on February 24, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to all the states to frame rules for menstrual pain leaves for female students and working class women at their workplaces.

List on February 24, 2023” said a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud when the plea was mentioned for urgent listing.

“This is a fresh PIL for framing rules for menstrual leave for female students”, said Advocate Vishal Tiwari, the counsel for petitioner in the present PIL.

In addition to seeking rules for menstrual pain leaves for women, the petition also prays for issuance of directions to all States and Government of India for appointment of inspectors to monitor the implementation of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

Ironically, the most disappointing aspect in the direction of respecting the rights of working women, is that in-spite of a provision under section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 that there will be an inspector for a particular area to monitor the implementation of such great provisions, no government in India has created the post of inspectors, forget about the appointment of such inspectors”, said the petition.

It further said that during different parts or stages of maternity, women undergo a number of physical and mental hardships, be it undergoing menstrual period, pregnancy, miscarriage or any medical complication related to these stages of maternity. In these stages menstrual period is the genus and pregnancy, miscarriage, etc. are the species, which definitely needs first attention of society and the legislature.

The petition said that “the very first stage of the maternity, the menstrual period has been knowingly and unknowingly ignored by the other stake holders 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”.

The plea said that it is an irony that women have played the most important role in the creation of human civilization and the same woman has been deprived of the role of decision making in all the civilizations of the world since ancient times till date. Because in the patriarchal world the interest of the male has always been at the top. The norms of morality have always been built in favour of men, read the plea.