Because no woman should have to use her sick days for a biological (and often painful) function that happens every month.

By Lauren Mazzo

When it comes to PMS and period symptoms, every woman gets her own special goodie bag of souvenirs delivered to her doorstep every month. You know, along with all the blood. (Ugh.) Take your pick: knife-in-stomach cramps, extreme fatigue (did I just run a marathon or...?), headaches that feel like a tiny human with a sledgehammer inside your skull, mood swings that make you Google psychiatrists in your area, or stomach-bug-style nausea, just to name a few. (Don't even get us started on all the extra bathroom trips-and not to change a tampon.)

And when you're dealing with all these magical woman things, the most fun place to be is definitely at work. Pssh.

That's why one company-a viral video production studio called Culture Machine, based in India-is implementing possibly the best day-off policy ever: First Day of Period (FOP) Leave. They allow women to take the first day of their periods off with no questions asked. And while Culture Machine gets a gold star for #FOPLeave, they're going above and beyond to get the same leave policy required across the country. They launched a petition (now with more than 27K signatures) asking the Ministry of Woman and Child Development and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to make FOP Leave available for all women in India.

If you think about it, the shit that women deal with on the first day (or first few days, if we're being fair) of their period is totally worthy of a sick day-but that parade of annoying or even life-altering symptoms goes down every. single. month. Ain't nobody got enough sick days for that. This FOP Leave gesture is acknowledging the fact that, while women are majestic and amazing creatures capable of creating another human life, being female can kinda suck sometimes, too. And having to sit through an entire workday while it feels like someone is ripping open your sex organs from the inside isn't something we should have to deal with just because roughly half the population doesn't have firsthand experience with it. (Luckily, change is on the horizon for women everywhere; we're in the midst of a period revolution, bringing positive change to everything from tampon ingredients and period panties to better access to birth control.)

Culture Machine has officially made their move, and the rest of India could follow suit. Plus, there's already one company in the UK practicing period PTO. Hey, America-it's your turn.


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