A group of women teachers in Uttar Pradesh has begun a campaign demanding three-day “period leave” every month for the female teaching staff working in the state.
According to the reports, Uttar Pradesh Mahila Shikshak Sangh – a newly formed organisation of women teachers’ in Uttar Pradesh – has sought three-day “period day” leaves from work every month, citing the bad condition of toilets in government schools of the state.
On Saturday, Sulochana Maurya, the president of the association, underlined the need for such a campaign, saying that some women-specific problems can be raised effectively only by women, and the association is working on them. Maurya said that though there is a representation of women in various associations, men continue to dominate the proceedings of such organisations.
“We formed this association on February 8 to work for the cause of women teachers who constitute almost 60 per cent of the total strength of teachers in primary schools. The association already has its units in 50 of the 75 districts of the state,” Sulochana Maurya said to the media.
She also added that they needed to form a women teachers union because their issues are not given priority in the general teachers union. “Over 60 to 70 per cent of primary school teachers are women. While we may be given token posts in teacher associations, these are usually dominated by men and they don’t take up these issues (of menstrual leave). But for us women, this is a major concern,” she said.
Maurya said that former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad had announced a similar special period leave for two days in the past, however, Maurya said they want three-day leave as they feel this is the need of women.
“A five-member delegation of the association met Uttar Pradesh Basic Education Minister Satish Chandra Dwivedi regarding the issue. He assured that he would discuss the issue with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. We have also met deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya,” Maurya said.
Another teacher said that women teachers do not feel free to share their problems and added that their male counterparts sometimes do not consider these issues as important. She said the association has already apprised ministers and handed over memoranda to the government seeking “period leave” for female teaching staff.
A few days back, the organisation had also trended the “#Periodleave” hashtag on Twitter to create awareness among the masses. “We will also meet Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and later the chief minister over our demand,” Maurya added.