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Ayushi Agarwal

IWB Blogger

Want LIC Insurance? Tell About Your Menstruation Cycle First

  • IWB Post
  •  December 5, 2015


LIC or Life Insurance Corporation of India is one the most reputed providers of the life insurance. It is the oldest as well as the biggest state-owned insurance company, valued at approximately US$240 billion.

If you’re a woman, seeking to get insured by this reputed company, be prepared to answer the following questions:

The form

 (i) Have you been menstruating regularly?

(ii) Have you had any miscarriage/s?

(iii) Are you pregnant now?

(iv) State the date of last menstruation

(v) State the date of last delivery

Men are not asked about the number of foetuses they’ve fathered. Details of the ones that made it, the ones that didn’t. Or, for that matter, any history of alcoholism, smoking, tobacco chewing and other unhealthy behaviors primarily associated with the gender.

And of course, if you happen to be a woman who had an abortion or children but chose not to marry, good luck to you going down this form because for LIC you don’t exist.

Some women are arguing in favor of this norm, and some are not.

FOR arguments: There’s the irrational linkage of a woman’s menstrual cycle and reproductive health with the state of her overall health. With urban living and stress levels rising for both genders, there is enough data to suggest that women hit menopause earlier than usual.

According to an LIC Officer, “These questions gauge the life expectancy of women. We keep adding questions to assess the risk, but the questions related to their reproductive health are as old as the health policy.”

AGAINST arguments: Kavita Krishnan, secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association, says, “A woman is not obligated to share information about her reproductive health with anyone. This is an invasion of her privacy. This is how insurance works, they gamble on her health status. But why should women reveal when they menstruate, or not, and how many pregnancies they’ve had?”

Should a woman who has turned pre-menopausal in her mid-30s or even earlier be denied the benefit of a life insurance policy? Why is a woman’s menstruation cycle the ultimate indicator of her health?

Antara Dev Sen, an editor of The Little Magazine, wonders why the intimate details citizens’ lives are so important to the State. “Why is the State keen to know whom we have sex with and how many times? Why is it keen to know our sexual orientation – are we homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual? What is this obsession with our private spaces?”

“Asking a woman to fill out her menstruation details when buying an LIC policy is bizarre. It could have been a concern decades ago when maternal mortality was high. If a woman’s reproductive health really did matter in today’s times do you think the private health insurance companies would have spared women these details?”

“Why ask these questions? Are they profiling women for marriage? Why aren’t they asking men about their sexual behaviour? What about women who have had abortions and pregnancies and are not married?”

What do you think? Yay or Nay?

Source: Catch News

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