Italy to offer paid menstrual leave? Can the rest of the world follow suit, please

Italy may soon be the first western country to offer paid menstrual leaves to working women. Should India follow suit too?

Every woman is familiar with the discomfort that menstruation brings 5 days in a month. Stress, work pressure, menstrual cramps, pain is a lot worse when you have to go to the office and work. How we wish we would get to rest during those uncomfortable days in a month. Because lets face it, the lethargy, bloating and the bleeding do not really help in enhancing your productivity.

Italy seems to be taking cognisance of the situation. It could soon become the first western country to offer paid period leaves to working women. The bill is being drafted in the lower house of the parliament in Italy. If the bill does manage to get passed, female staffers who experience dreading painful periods will get 3 days paid menstrual leaves.

While some are hailing the idea while terming it as welcome move, some are criticising the bill while adding that due to this, companies may be motivated to hire more of men than women if girls are granted 3 days paid period leaves a month.

Women are already taking days off because of menstrual pains, but the new law would allow them to do so without using sick leaves or other permits. However, on the other hand I wouldn’t exclude that [if the law is approved] this would lead to negative repercussions: The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalised both in terms of salary and career advancement,” Independent quoted Daniela Piazzalunga, an economist from a research institute as saying. Some of them even believe that instead of doing with the taboos surrounding menstruation it might just reinstate it further.

Meanwhile, countries like, Japan, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and South Korea already offer menstruation leaves. Is the Indian government listening?