The first day of the Arunachal Assembly’s Budget session got off to a rather controversial start over the ‘Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017’. The Bill proposed that women working in public and private sectors get two days of paid menstrual leave every month.

Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering withdrew ‘The Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017’ on Friday, which proposed that women working in the public and private sectors get two days of paid menstrual leave every month. The bill which was introduced on the first day of the budget session, was withdrawn at the request of Arunachal Pradesh Health Minister Alo Libang.

“There are two types of women, some that menstruate for about a week then there is heavy bleeding and low bleeding. Women will only be able to talk about this better. Here in the assembly, it is a dirty thing to talk about and we should not talk about it here in the assembly as this is a holy place,” Koloriang MLA Lokam Tassar said.

“It still is a serious issue in the society and we support it but what leave grants must be given, what are the treatments, let the women’s commission and submit a report about what treatment must be given by the government for school going children and it is better if women speak about this,” he added.

Lekang MLA Jummum Ete Deori expressed discomfort in the issue being raised in the assembly. She said they should have spoken with the women’s commission first.

The Menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017 sought to provide better facilities for rest at the workplace during menstruation leave for school and college-going girls, a few days a month, and better safety and hygiene provisions for women and adolescent girls.

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