Women spend 3,000 days of their lifetime menstruating. However, in many countries, they are still deprived of basic menstrual rights. These rights are not only limited to use of sanitary napkins instead of cloths but are also about those unbearable period cramps during the early days of the menstrual cycle.
While two companies in India, Mumbai based Culture Machine and digital marketing organisation Gozoopa created a revolution of sorts by giving paid menstrual leaves their women employees, it is yet to become a trend in the country. And even though there is a chance that sanitary napkins might actually become accessible to every woman in coming years, it is still difficult to assume when workplaces will understand the need for menstruation leaves.
There are certain countries around the world that take women health seriously and provide them with menstrual leaves.
As the world celebrates the Menstrual Hygiene Day, we have a look at the countries that provide women with menstrual leaves.
Japan: Japan was the first country to provide women with menstrual leaves. According to the 1947 Labor Standards Law, women suffering from painful periods or whose job might exacerbate period pain are allowed seirikyuuka (meaning ‘physiological leave’). This leave has been in place since just after World War II.
Indonesia: Even though there is proper law which allows women to take two days of menstrual leave in a month, there are still certain companies that ignore this law.
Taiwan: In addition to the 30 days of sick leave allotted to all workers, female workers are allowed to take three days of menstrual leave a year. However, this is after a recent amendment to the country’s Act of Gender Equality in Employment.
South Korea: South Korea first granted menstrual leave in 2001. However, this policy of giving women menstrual leaves is seen as a form of discrimination towards men. As a result, many of Korea’s men’s rights activists are taking up the issue on behalf of Korean men. And here the women are even paid out for unused menstruation leaves.
Zambia: In order to make labour market friendlier to women, new laws were imposed which enabled women to have one day off per month. The interesting thing is that they don’t even have to give an explanation for leaving.
China: In China, Shanxi province, central Hubei province and Anhui Province of China allow female employees to take one or two days off. However, there should be a valid certificate from a legal medical institute or a hospital.