Food delivery company Zomato said on Saturday it would give female employees, including transgender people, up to 10 days of “period leave” per year, as part of an effort to combat what it said was a stigma around the issue. The company’s CEO said the move is to “foster a culture of trust, truth and acceptance”.
Zomato is the most high profile organisation to institute the policy in India, a country where menstruation is still taboo to some.
“There shouldn’t be any shame or stigma attached to applying for a period leave,” Zomato chief executive Deepinder Goyal said in an email to staff on Saturday.
“You should feel free to tell people on internal groups, or emails that you are on your period leave for the day.”
“A note for men – 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,” said Goyal.
Founded in 2008, Gurugram-based Zomato is one of India’s best-known companies, with more than 5,000 employees.
Millions of women and girls in India still face discrimination and health issues due to a lack of awareness surrounding menstruation.
In 2018, India’s Supreme Court overturned a decades-long ban on women of menstrual age entering the Sabarimala temple in the southern state of Kerala, leading to a nationwide debate about women’s rights.