The question of whether or not women should be allowed menstruation leave has been hotly debated over the past few years, and there hasn’t been a satisfactory conclusion to the argument.
Menstrual leave was a topic of discussion at the recent winter session of Parliament. In order to understand the scenario of whether or not women should be granted menstruation leave, ETHealthworld met with a few thought leaders.
With more than 1,300 workers, Girona recently made history by being the first city in Spain to examine implementing a menstrual leave policy in April. A number of towns quickly followed suit, including the eastern city of Castellón de la Plana and the Catalan towns of Ripoll and Les Borges Blanques. This positioned a few public administrations in Spain as trailblazers and standard-bearers in Western Europe for a workplace policy that has sparked intense debate worldwide.
Deputy Mayor Maria Ángels Planas told reporters in June that Girona is “carving out a new path” when it comes to women’s labor rights. This was after the city council voted overwhelmingly to allow people who menstruate, including women, transgender men, and nonbinary people, to take up to eight hours of leave per month, which they would then have to make up for by working overtime for three months. “The stigma associated with menstruation and the discomfort some women experience—that is, the pain we experience—is being eradicated.”
The plan to allow women at Coexist to take up to one paid day of menstruation leave each month thrust the 31-person company into the public eye. There was a significant backlash. “You’re putting feminism back by 100 years by doing this,” is one remark that endures.”
She was astonished by how fierce the debate was. Women who were afraid that they had fought to be seen as equal to men and not weak, and who didn’t want this calling attention to a weakness within them and creating a stigma so that they couldn’t receive promotions, were the ones who caused the toxicity, not the men.
The complex history of menstrual leave :
In an effort to safeguard their reproductive health, menstruation women in Soviet Russia were allowed to take time off from paid work in the 1920s and 1930s, which gave rise to the concept of an official menstrual leave. In Japan, labor unions adopted the concept in the late 1920s, and in 1947 the legislation of the nation codified it.
The reasoning behind the action in Japan was influenced in part by notions about women’s fertility, with unions cautioning that excessive work hours and unhygienic surroundings could impair their ability to conceive.
Zomato, a food delivery service in India, joined a small group of private businesses in the nation that have attempted to break through the deeply ingrained taboos around menstruation by providing staff with up to 10 days of paid menstrual vacation annually. Sixty-one employees have taken more than 2,000 days of leave since the policy’s debut in August 2020, according to a company representative.