In a step closer to recognising women’s hygiene needs, Assam cabinet has made it mandatory for industries and factories across the state to store sanitary napkins for their female staff.
The development came out of a cabinet meeting in Guwahati on Monday. Assam's Minister for Transport, Industry, and Commerce Chandra Mohan Patowary said, “Government has made it mandatory for all factories and industries in the state to keep sanitary pads for the welfare of the working women in the factories.”
Among other decisions such as the state holiday list for 2020, the cabinet also approved the Assam Bamboo and Cane Policy to boost scientific usage of bamboo and cane resources in the state.
Incidentally, bamboo pulp is also used in making eco-friendly sanitary napkins. Chandramohan Patowary, Industry Minister of Assam, promised that farmers will receive Rs 2.50 per bamboo sapling as an incentive from the state government. A bamboo plantation of 1,000 hectares of land is on the cards as well.
“We (Assam government) are also discussing with the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) because they are going to establish a new plant. If NRL comes forward, the government is further targeting 10 lakh bamboo saplings. Our bamboo farmers will also benefit from this policy," he added.
Women’s hygiene at the workplace and the pain and discomfort during menstruation is being discussed around the world lately. In countries like Japan, Indonesia, Italy and South Korea, menstrual leave is part of the official leave policy. While it is not mandated in India yet, several companies in the country are opening up to the idea.
In 2017, Mumbai-based digital media startup Culture Machine implemented a policy to let women employees to take a day off on the first day of their period.
Kolkata-based FlyMyBiz is another digital media company that announced the same as part of its official policy for female employees, starting from January 2019.