Women, what’s your LMP?

Forget George Orwell. This one may have been an elaborate April Fools joke. But maybe the Government of India is the fool.

Women civil servants in India have expressed shock at new appraisal rules which require them to reveal details of their menstrual cycles. Under the new nationwide requirements, female officials also have to say when they last sought maternity leave….

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.

Wtf! What’s next? Similar questions at the immigration counter? I suddenly am divinely glad I didn’t follow all the suggestions for applying to the Indian Civil Service. You know what? Even Orwell couldn’t have come up with this!

20 Comments

Filed under Gender, Governance, India, wtf

20 Responses to Women, what’s your LMP?

  1. Pingback: LMP at Kyun.org

  2. the mind boggles! what next? when you last masturbated?

  3. I will be mogadored! Is this for real? Who dreams up these regulations?

  4. Pingback: Women, what’s your LMP?

  5. Wow. And I mean, wow. And they were acting on the advice of the Ministry of Health?

    I am stupefied.

  6. dipali

    Yeeks. I hope all right thinking women civil servants unite against this monstrosity. What on earth is it for?

  7. Whaaat??!! It can’t really be happening, can it? Outrageous!

  8. Does not surprise me. A employment condition some years ago, which was struck down by the court, obligated women officers in the Indian Foreign services to take prior approval of the government before getting married. Who says we do not have a “ministry of love”!

  9. WA

    DW, don’t give them any ideas

  10. Such outrage!

    Have any of you taken the trouble to go through the actual source material rather than just relying on what the BBC had to say?

    It is available here: http://www.persmin.nic.in/Acts_Rules/AIS/IAS_PAR.pdf

    Please do read Page 58, as BBC has so generously informed everyone of us.

    Pay close attention to the heading of that page. Then take a look at the BBC report once again and notice that the information sought is merely part of proforma for the annual health check-up and NOT of the Performance Appraisal Form as BBC has said. The appraisal form merely asks if the officer has undergone the health checkup or not. That is all.

    Is it wrong for a health checkup for women to seek information on their periods? [This is a genuine question, no sarcasm intended. Being a man, I have no idea about the real relevance of such a question in a health checkup. It sounds okay to me though.]

    BTW.. in case you want to be outraged further, please note that the same health checkup proforma also seeks results of a PAP smear test and mammography besides cholesterol levels and whatnot.

  11. Vivek Kumar: Let me quote ““performance appraisal dossier” means the compilation of the performance appraisal reports written on a member of the Service, referred to in rule 3, and includes such other documents as may be specified by the Central Government, by general or special order, in this behalf.” As part of Rule 3 – this particular form titled “The All India Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2007, PROFORMA FOR HEALTH CHECK UP.” is to be filled and included in the performance appraisal dossier.

    This is not a random health checkup for government employees that is held confidential between doctors and patients. This is apparently “To be filled in duplicate and submitted to Cadre Controlling Authorities in the State and the Central Government.”.

    Whether or not you’re a man is irrelevant to this discussion.

  12. I think the only two things missing from this reply are
    1. The word ‘thereof’
    2. A reference to Music Academy.

  13. Pingback: India asks civil servants about their periods « ?????? - Gilli

  14. @Neha Viswanathan:

    This is not a random health checkup for government employees that is held confidential between doctors and patients. This is apparently “To be filled in duplicate and submitted to Cadre Controlling Authorities in the State and the Central Government.”.

    Thanks for saying this. I was hoping you would.

    The point is that the Government should not ask for ANY explicit medical data, except a simple one paragraph certificate of medical fitness stating whether the officer is physically/mentally fit for doing his/her job or not.

    The doctor-patient confidentiality covers much more than just LMP and is as applicable to men as it is to women. I hinted about this in my previous comment when I mentioned other things that the report asks for. Never mind.

    By expressing outrage specifically and ONLY about the LMP, you imply your acceptance for the rest of the contents of the medical checkup report. I hope that is not what you meant.

    As an aside: I never said that being a man is relevant to the discussion. I had stated that as a defense of my ignorance about the relevance of questions pertaining to periods in the health check-up report.

  15. Vivek Kumar: Fair enough. I used LMP as an instance of invasiveness – it’s not indicative of extent. I have a general issue with invasiveness. As far as I am concerned – any kind of health data – (even those pertaining to disabilities) shouldn’t be included in any sort of performance appraisal.

    You had mentioned that it was “merely part of proforma for the annual health check-up and NOT of the Performance Appraisal Form”. I disagree with the “merely” bit mostly.

    Actually, it’s not really outrage that I am expressing. It’s bafflement.

  16. @Neha Viswanathan: Thanks for the clarification about your views. The rest of the Blogosphere (and BBC) seems to have a problem only with LMP information (not to forget those people who were quoted by BBC).

    You filed your post under “gender” too, while this is an issue that is as gender-neutral as an issue can be.

    Anyway, I can’t go around asking for clarifications from everyone.

    Thanks again for the discussion.

  17. Vivek Kumar: It is a gender issue. I am not talking about the theory of invasiveness – but its evidence – w.r.t women.

  18. @Neha Viswanathan: Very well, this *might* satisfy you then:

    http://in.rediff.com/news/2007/apr/12query.htm

    Under attack from women bureaucrats, the Centre has decided to drop controversial queries on medical issues like menstrual cycle and mammography for their annual appraisal.

  19. The problem here is not just one of the Govt requesting personal and potentially irrelevant information. The policy would most probably have been developed by a person who has grown up not knowing the importance of personal space and privacy.

    This is not to say that the said policy is diabolical from any and every angle. However, simply protesting about individual issues such as this does not get to the root of the problem – our ignorance (some would add deliberate) of all characteristics that make up our personal space and a certain level of privacy.

    Unfortunately, it is going to take a helluva long time for these terms to be recognised and practiced in our society; not to mention a lot of education.

    I suppose the fight has to start somewhere.

  20. Correction to the above:

    This is not to say that the said policy is not diabolical from any and every angle. However, simply protesting about individual issues such as this does not get to the root of the problem – our ignorance (some would add deliberate) of all characteristics that make up our personal space and a certain level of privacy.