In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to shine light on not only the incredible achievements women have contributed to society, but the steps being taken to support women’s rights along the way. For instance, just a few weeks ago, Spain became the first European country to introduce paid menstrual leave to any employees experiencing painful periods.
Spain is not the only country establishing new policies in an effort to protect and support those who identify as female. Japan, Indonesia, and Tawain, and Vietnam are among other countries offering a menstrual leave policy. The African country of Zambia even introduced a “Mother’s Day” policy, in which female employees are entitled to one day off a month, without the need of a medical note.
These stipulations do not come without worry, however. Those who oppose the laws wonder if they could lead to negative gender stereotypes against women, particularly in the workplace and leadership positions. While the U.S. has not yet adopted these policies, The Washinton Post mentions, “Menstrual leave is not common in the United States, but individual companies are introducing such policies, such as a Los Angeles-based maker of a popular astrology app and a global software company.”
Period pain affects approximately 80% of women, many of whom admit the pain interferes with their ability to work. Those suffering even more severe reproductive conditions, such as endometriosis, can largely benefit from paid recovery days. On the day Spain passed their menstrual leave law, Irene Montero, the Spanish Equality Prime Minister, proclaimed on Twitter, “Today is a historic day of progress in feminist rights.”