March 28 2017
Quote of the Day:
’ll admit that for a hot second, I loved the idea of Italy offering three days of paid menstrual leave to women each month, as Japan and Indonesia already do. I suffer painful periods, and spending those few uncomfortable days in bed instead of hunched over a desk inhaling Alleve is certainly appealing.
--Nicole Lynn Pesce on Money-ish
There is a move afoot in Italy to offer paid menstrual leave.
The proposed law is currently being debated in the country’s parliament. If passed, it would mandate that companies enforce a “menstrual leave” policy and offer three paid days off each month to working women who experience painful periods.
Health experts and local media outlets have praised the proposal, saying it was a step in the right direction and would shed light on the silent plight of women suffering from debilitating cramps that can sometimes affect their ability to work.
All workers, female and male, have various "silent plights" in their lives, and, when it is physical, they know that they must sometimes phone in sick. But does government need to get involved in women's menstual periods?
Nicole Lynn Pesce, who reveals far more about her menstrual periods than this reader wanted to know, toyed with the idea, but ultimately comes out against paid menstrual leave:
Women are not the weaker sex, but I’m afraid if we’re all given time off each month for our periods, we’ll be seen that way. We’re already struggling to overcome the gender pay gap and to break into male-dominated industries. The number of women taking paid maternity leave has barely budged over the past 20 years. In fact, less than half of American women – 47.5% – took paid maternity leave in 2015. We have battles to fight, and this period leave isn’t one of them.
“I believe that menstrual leave is ill conceived. It would be going backward. It would be anachronistic,” said Dr. Rabin. “We don’t want to put ourselves at more of a disadvantage than we are already.”
Actually, it could be argued that, if women suddenly require several paid menstrual days a month, we are indeed a weaker sex and, moreover, that we are privileged over men.
Paid maternity leave is something many women have already and we would like for all women to have this benefit--but we also understand that some businesses are unable to offer the generous policies that are being mandated by local governments and remain sustainable.
Menstrual leave is probably not the best way to boost hiring women.