Union women and child development (WCD) minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said that menstruation is not a “handicap” and it shouldn’t warrant a specific policy for “paid leave”.

Irani was speaking in response to a question asked by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) member Manoj Kumar Jha in the Rajya Sabha on the menstrual hygiene policy in the country.

“As a menstruating woman, menstruation and the menstruation cycle is not a handicap, it’s a natural part of women’s life journey…We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation,” she said.

Last week, responding to a question asked by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, Irani had told the Lok Sabha that there is “no proposal under the consideration of the government to make provision for paid menstrual leave mandatory for all workplaces”.

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