DNLU Jabalpur introduces menstrual leave policy for students

With the new policy, full-time female students of DNLU can avail of leaves on account of difficulties faced during the menstrual cycle.
Menstrual leave
Menstrual leave

The Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur (DNLU) has introduced menstrual leaves for students on campus.

The development was announced in a circular issued on Friday, approving a long pending request from the Student Bar Association (SBA) for menstrual leaves for students.

Presently, the University allows students take leave for 36 lectures per semester (6 classes for each of the 6 subjects). With the new policy, full-time female students of DNLU can avail of these leaves on account of difficulties during the menstrual cycle as well.

"It is hereby notified that full-time female students of the university can avail the general make-up for the loss of classes occasioned due to menstrual cycle. Rules relating to the general make-up on the extent of the number of days i.e., 6 classes per subject per semester, will remain the same as notified and practiced in the university at present (sic)," the circular reads.

The circular also mentions that the Dean of Student Welfare will the authority for approving the said leaves.

Speaking to Bar & Bench's Jelsyna Chacko, a class representative and member of the SBA said,

"The main challenge was to make the authorities understand why these leaves are necessary and not discriminatory against male students. Initially, there was some resistance from the authorities since not everyone is very open-minded about menstruation and in general, people were of the view that it would be discriminatory towards male counterparts. SBA had many conversations with the administration to make them understand why it is necessary to have menstrual leaves."

Kartik Jain, who had earlier served as the Vice-President of the SBA (in 2022-23) explained how the policy would work.

"There are already six criteria in the make-up leave policy. They have now added menstrual leave as one of the reasons for students to avail the make-up leave," he said.

He added that the initiative was only possible due to the hard work of DNLU students, and expressed the students' gratitude towards the administration for accepting their request.

"The request was first put up on 26th January, on the occasion of Republic Day. The students demanded from the administration the implementation of this policy and now, the administration has implemented. We are grateful to the administration including Dean of student welfare for extending our request and the Honorable Vice Chancellor (I/C) for approving the same," he added.

The move comes months after it made headlines few months back as the first National Law University to introduce audio-visual learning for students.

Bar & Bench has written to the DNLU administration for their statement on this pioneering initiative among law schools. This article will be updated if a response is received.

On a related note, Indian law firm, Khaitan & Co recently announced the launch of a menstrual leave policy for its women employees, which is slated to take effect from October 1.

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DNLU Jabalpur circular.pdf
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