After Mumbai-based digital media company, Culture Machine, announced ‘First Day of Period Leave’ for its employees, a Kerala-based Malayalam news channel, Mathrubhumi, has become the first organisation in the state to follow the league.
In a team of 300 employees working with the channel, around 75 are women. It has offered 12 days of ‘First Day of Period Leave’ to its women employees each year.
“Ours is a very stressful job and we want our women to know they are understood,” said Shreyams Kumar, Joint Managing Director for Mathrubhumi Channel. “They have the option of now availing the first day of their monthly period as leave. This is over and above the normal leaves that they are entitled to”, he added.
This announcement was made by Kumar via video conferencing.
The channel’s women employees said that they were pleasantly surprised at the announcement. “We did not expect it at all. I felt overwhelmed. It’s not as if all this needs to be availed by us. But the very fact that this option is now available, itself increases our commitment and sense of ownership towards this channel by several levels,” said Aarathy, a news editor at the channel. “We are proud to be part of this historic move in women rights.”
Culture Machine had announced their new leave policy in a video posted on social media on 4 July, which had gone viral.
The company also started an online petition addressed to minister of women and child development, Maneka Gandhi and minister of human resource development, Prakash Javadekar, asking for the leave policy to be implemented all across the country.
So far, the petition has already been signed by over 28,000 supporters but still needs over 6,500 signatures to reach its goal of 35,000.