Nearly 50% of people on earth have uteruses, yet in most countries people avoid talking about periods. This means the other 50% of the world’s population doesn’t understand the difficulties that menstruating people face every month: lethargy, nausea, cramps, etc. In India, where the topic of periods is particularly taboo, one of the country’s largest food delivery companies is taking a step in the right direction: it has begun offering people who menstruate ten “period leave” days a year.
“It is our job to make sure that we make room for our biological needs, while not lowering the bar for the quality of our work and the impact that we create,” read the blog post. “There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave.” The company also noted that any unnecessary harassment or “distasteful comments” made about period leave requests will not be tolerated and promised that Zomato’s prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) team would quickly respond to any employee complaints.
In addition to laying out the new policy—and noting the (slightly odd) stipulation that only one period leave day may be used per menstrual cycle—the statement also included a “note for men” who may not be comfortable with all this icky period talk:
“Our female colleagues expressing that they are on their period leave shouldn’t be uncomfortable for us. This is a part of life, and while we don’t fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to rest this out. I know that menstrual cramps are very painful for a lot of women – and we have to support them through it if we want to build a truly collaborative culture at Zomato.”