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Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 10:38 IST

‘Don’t want women to face harassment,’ Smriti Irani clarifies why she opposed paid period leave

Smriti Irani also claimed that the question on period leave that prompted the statement was intended either to shock, provoke or attract attention

Apoorva Shukla
Smriti Irani on Paid period leave
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani | Image: PTI
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Delhi: After her comments on paid period leave policy in the Indian Parliament stirred a debate, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani clarified why she opposed the thought of paid period leave. Smriti Irani claimed that she could have spoken much more on the issue in the Parliament, however, she refrained. 

Speaking in Parliament earlier this month, Minister Smriti Irani had said that menstruation is not a "handicap" and it shouldn't warrant a specific policy for "paid leave". Clarifying over the same, Smriti Irani said that she opposed paid period leave as she didn't want women to face discrimination and harassment in the workplace over it. 

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"When I spoke in parliament, I spoke from my personal experience because I don't want more and more women to be harassed," said Smriti Irani.

Question was asked to provoke: Irani 

Union Minister Smriti Irani also claimed that the question that prompted the statement was intended either to shock, provoke or attract attention. Reading out the question put up by RJP MP Manoj Jha, Smriti Irani said, "The question was intended either to shock, provoke or to attract attention. Which it did. It did attract attention, it did shock many people, it did provoke controversy, but the question in itself indicates what the intent is.” 

She pointed out the part c of Manoj Jha’s question which read- ‘Will the Minister of Women and Child Development be pleased to state: a/ Whether govt is planning to roll out a Menstrual Hygiene Policy soon; b/ If so, the details thereof; c/ whether the policy contains provisions to promote and provide for menstrual hygiene among the LGBTQIA community.’ 

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 “Tell me, the honourable member wanted a response for the LGBTQIA community. Which gay man without a uterus has a menstrual cycle?” said Smriti Irani.  

 

(Union Minister Smriti Irani made these comments while speaking at ANI podcast with Smita Prakash)

 

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 10:37 IST

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