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Would You Want a Paid Menstrual Leave?


We've all had those days when we're so overcome with cramps that we want to call in sick and stay curled up in bed all day rather than get dressed up and attempt to sit upright in a chair for eight hours. But are your periods so bad that you would want the option to take a paid “menstrual leave?”

According to the Atlantic, in several, mostly East Asian counties, paid “menstrual leave” is a legal right for female workers. [Tweet this fact!] But the policies are not short of controversy. Is the special treatment a human-rights move or is it cramping the feminism movement as a form of reverse-sexism?

Japan, for example, has had seirikyuuka (literally meaning “physiological leave”) for intense period pain since just after World War II. In 2013, Taiwan amended legislation allowing female workers three additional days of menstrual leave a year, while Indonesian women are guaranteed two days a month of menstrual leave. And in South Korea, female workers were granted menstrual leave in a controversial policy in 2001. Even Russia proposed a “menstrual leave” law last year that was quickly denounced by Russian feminists.

Should the United States be next? Tell us what you think! Do these PMS-prompted policies further the notion that women are weak or are they simply accommodating a biological difference between men and women? Comment below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine


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