Female workers were given time off as a means of improving productivity. In turn, the practice has been adopted in India and South Korea. Individual companies in the UK and US have made the concept an option for their workers. The topic has recently been discussed in the UK on mainstream outlets such as This Morning, Channel 4 News and Buzzfeed, furthering the campaign’s cause.
On one hand, supporters argue that menstrual leave gives women the opportunity to recuperate at a time that can be both physically and mentally challenging. While the acknowledgment from major companies about the physical and mental challenge of working on your period is a step in the right direction, this idea is perhaps most appropriate for those who suffer aggressive forms of menstrual cramps and pain. Should all women be entitled to menstrual leave, or only some? How do we differentiate?
We’re all brutally aware that pre-menstrual syndrome has been the butt of jokes towards women for years, but there are also more complex problems. The percentage of women that suffer from dysmenorrhoea – severe period pains – was found to be at 41.1%, while 81.1% of women in the same study stated they experience period pain in some form over the course of their period. While many women simply ‘get on’ with their work while menstruating, it can be incredibly difficult for those with more debilitating pain.