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Sikkim High Court sets precedence: introduces menstrual leave

Sikkim High Court sets precedence: introduces menstrual leave

Gangtok: Sikkim High Court set a precedent by introducing a menstrual leave policy for women employees in the registry in a first-of-its-kind move. Employees entitled to the leave would receive 2-3 days a month. Making the move, Sikkim became the first High Court in the country to implement such a policy or law for menstrual leave, The Indian Express (TIE) reported.

However, this leave would be granted only upon recommendation of the High Court Medical Officer. A court notification dated May 27 stated that the leave will not be counted against the employee's overall leave account.

The Supreme Court had rejected a petition in February 2023 demanding menstrual leave for students and working women in the country. The court ruled then that the decision on the matter was in the domain of the policy and not in its own. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud advised the petitioner to the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.

In December of that year, the Minister of Women and Child Development opposed a menstrual leave policy, saying that she believed that menstruating or menstrual cycle is "not a handicap".

According to TIE, she expressed concern that "equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular view towards menstruation," TIE quoted.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare formulated a draft Menstrual Hygiene policy in the same month, which suggested that menstruating women should be allowed to take work-from-home or support leaves so that there is no discrimination against them.

Sikkim High Court is the smallest HC in India, with a mere nine officers in the registry, including one woman officer.

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TAGS:womenMenstrual leaveIndia newsSikkim High Court
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