Italy Set as First Western Country to Pass Law on Menstrual Leave [VIDEO]
A bill presented on March 13 in the Italian Parliament states that companies should offer women three day's leave during their menstrual cycle. Four women lawmakers from the Democratic Party passed this to the legislation. If this is approved, Italy is the first Western country on Menstrual Leave Policy and law for working women.
A mixed reaction from the Italian community has arisen regarding the newly proposed bill. Social media outlets voiced that this could be a positive move to aid the suffering of working women when on period. The new law is considered as a standard bearer of social sustainability and progress, the women's magazine Marie Claire stated.
However, the new bill also has its critics. Some fear that the law might get back to Italian women and backfire its effects for the people it seeks to protect in the country, an article in the Washington Post said. According to Lorenza Pleuteri, if women were granted days of leave for menstrual cycle, employers could have more reasons not to hire women and be even more oriented in hiring men.
Miriam Goi, a writer at Vice Italy said that rather than breaking down misconceptions and taboos on menstruation, the current debate firing upon the proposed menstrual leave might only end up building up and reinforcing stereotypes of women being more sensitive and emotional during their periods.
Rome's Messaggero newspaper said that the bill could be approved in the coming months and if this happens, the headlines would be branded as Italy is the first Western country on menstrual leave policy; following existing laws in South Korea, Japan and some parts of China.
Italy has female-friendly labor laws but in reality, women struggle in the job market. Compared to women in other developing countries, Italy is ranked as one that has the lowest rates of female participation in the pool of workforce fields in Europe.
To this date, experts still can't agree on whether menstrual cycles should constitute labor and economic issue. But no matter where the wind sails, if this is made into law, Italy is the first Western country on menstrual leave policy.