In an era where equal opportunities is the buzzword, more women are invading workplaces than ever before. However, despite their presence in various offices, workshops and factories, their needs are often overlooked. Even in most evolved companies with policies in place that address menstruation, a woman may find herself feeling frustrated and not understood during her period. Therefore, the onus is on corporate, business owners and office managers to provide a place where a woman does not feel uncomfortable during her period.
As we celebrate menstrual hygiene day today, here are a few simple ways to do that.
Provide Free Period Products (And Not Cheap Ones)
Yes, this is especially true for large corporations. They can easily afford to provide their female employees with good quality period products, make a period station or stall at ladies washroom, give them trash bins to dispose off sanitary pads so that women do not have to go pad hunting if their period arrives in an untimely fashion, and unannounced, and they can comfortably use office toilets.
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Provide A Place For Rest (And Allow Her The Time To Do So)
Nowadays, so many workplaces have pool tables and board games in the recreational zone built to give their staff a sense that their relaxation is important to the company. Unfortunately though, the truth of the matter is that the workload is so high in such companies that not many end up using those spaces.
So, building a relaxation room or labeling a room as ‘period room’ where a woman can rest up for some time during her period days is not the only and primary goal, it is to allow her the time to rest during office hours, without a surcharge of guilt.
Provide Period Leave (And Do Not Hold It Against Her)
As workplaces race to claim that they are women-friendly and can provide a safe and growth-oriented work environment to them, there are many companies that are offering period leaves. However, period leaves doesn’t mean anything, if the woman taking it is made to feel like she isn’t at par with her male counterparts, or other women colleagues who are not opting for those leaves, just because she avails those few leaves every month (which were rightfully her’s to begin with). So, if you cannot create a culture of support and understanding around period leaves, then those policies are only good on paper.
Don’t Discount Female Pain (And Allow Her Time)
A lot of women go through terrible cramps and do a full day of office with stress and tight deadlines, while they handle their period pain. Unfortunately, their pain is often discounted not only by male, but female bosses too. So, there is a need to sensitize staff about periods, and allow women who suffer from terrible cramps to have a few stress-free days, so that she can be at the top of her game, as soon as she starts feeling physically better. For such an environment to thrive, workplaces have to trust women when they say they are in pain, take their pain seriously and colleagues have to be supportive. There has to be an on-call doctor, who can help in severe cases, and a pharmacy close by, or within the premises that allow women to avail painkillers or period patches easily.