news Friday, January 09, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 8, 2015 | 12:45 pm IST  In December last year, women employees of a rubber plant in the Kochi Special Economic Zone in Kerala, were reportedly strip searched by two women supervisors to find which one of them had left a used sanitary napkin in the women’s washroom. Over 40 women were allegedly stripped to find which one of them was menstruating when none of them would come forward to claim responsibility for the used sanitary napkin. The alleged incident sparked an outrage, especially from labour unions and women right’s activists and groups, and one of the women employee who claimed she was strip searched reportedly filed a complaint with the police. Though an initial enquiry has been inconclusive, a protest, hosted by the Kiss of Love Facebook page, was launched online. It asks those supporting the campaign against the rubber company, to send a sanitary napkin to the MD of the organisation.   Read: Women activists react radically after discrimination against menstruating women in Kerala An event, called Red Alert: You've got a napkin!, was created on Facebook. A post by the group on the page reads, 'Protest against this inhuman act! Send a napkin (used or unused) to the MD of the company and mark your protest against this inhuman act.' Part of the post also reads, 'This is not a singular act. The lack of, let alone hygienic,but minimal sanitation facilities is a grave issue that women face on a daily basis. Several places do not even allow employees to go to the toilet more than twice during their work time. The several cases reported recently about the discrimination by KSRTC employees towards 'possibly' menstruating women is another instance of this kind which accuses women of 'polluting' and 'contaminating' public and at times, sacred spaces through their presence.' Speaking to The News Minute, Binu, Manager of Asma Rubber Products Pvt Ltd., said, "We have received five such napkins till now". He also asserted that the 'media had created the entire story'. 'There was a small fight between the supervisor and the staff in the company, and media blew it out of proportion', Binu said. "The women employees, who alleged had been strip searched, are joining work from tomorrow", he added.  The Kiss of Love organisers were unavailable for a comment.  The Red Alert: You've got a napkin! event is scheduled for January 31. However, it is not clear as to what exactly have the protesters scheduled to carry out on that day.  Earlier, some of those protesting against the alleged incident had changed their profile picture, using an image of a sanitary napkin instead, on social media websites.  ( All images source: Red Alert Facebook page ) Tweet

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