Just Another Guy with Opinions

Menstrual Cycles under Scrutiny

Posted by shadmia on April 12, 2007


Here’s one that goes just a little too far. In India women working as civil servants with the government have to fill out a new appraisal form which requires them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles and they also have to say when they last sought maternity leave.

The questions at the root of the controversy are on page 58 of the new appraisal forms for the current year issued by the federal Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Women officers must write down their “detailed menstrual history and history of LMP [last menstrual period] including date of last confinement [maternity leave],” the form says.

“I am completely shocked!” said Sharwari Gokhale, environment secretary in western Maharashtra state. “I have absolutely no words to describe how I feel and I have no intention of telling them anything about my personal life.

Maharashtra’s joint secretary for general administration, Seema Vyas, agreed that the new questions were uncalled for. “Menstrual cycles are a natural phenomenon, they are not an aberration. One does not object to questions related to fitness levels – they are important as they can affect work. “But there is no need for these details as this does not have any bearing on our work,” she told the BBC.

Satyanand Mishra head of the Civil Service Personnel Department said in an interview with The Hindustan Times newspaper:

“We sought the ministry’s help to draw up a health-history format. I assume this will help evaluate the officer’s fitness,” he told the paper.


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