Companies around the world offer pretty much similar types of leave time to their employees, like floating holidays, maternity leave, and even paternity leave. But one country is going the extra mile and offering menstrual leave for women who are suffering from their period.
MENSTRUAL LEAVE IS BEYOND RARE
It’s rare that you’ll find any country willing to provide a woman with a paid leave of absence because of a heavy period, but Zambia has definitely become the ultimate exception to this rule.
GETTING A VISIT FROM AUNT FLO CAN BE A PAIN IN THE A…
Women’s lives, which are stressful enough, often have it worse when it’s that time of the month, and it can be overwhelming both physically and mentally, making things harder and more exhausting.
THE MENSTRUAL VERSUS SICK DAY DEBACLE
In general, men and women are both offered the same amount of sick days. But men don’t have to deal with their uterine lining coming off every month. So women in Zambia argued that they should get an extra day for when they’re on their period, but as you can imagine, this raised some eyebrows and had some folks screaming “favoritism.” But seriously though, the pain and suffering that comes from getting your uterus slain every 28 days is no picnic!
NO DOCTOR’S NOTE REQUIRED
This day is intended to be used only by women who are feeling ill during their periods, so they don’t need a doctor’s note to present to their employer to prove that they’re sick, which is pretty groundbreaking considering most jobs don’t care if you’re sick or missing 3 fingers, and would still ask to see a doctor’s note, even if you’re bleeding all over the office.
CHINA’S MENSTRUAL LEAVE
The provinces of Ningxia, Shanxi and Hubei also grant their female employees two days off when they’re having their period. You can also take one in the province of Anhui, but you a note from your doctor to get the time off. Too bad you’ll be spending that day in pain and suffering, rolling on your bed!
THE PROGRESSIVE LABOR LAW
Thanks to a new labor law in Zambia, women can take a day off a month when their period symptoms are so bad that they’re bedridden. This acknowledges the pain women’s bodies go through that time of the month and might even help rid of the stigma surrounding that awkward topic.
The labor law is called “Mother’s Day” because discussing your period or making any reference to it is considered a taboo in Zambia’s society.
YOU MUST ADHERE
Of course, you’re bound to encounter some resistance when a law this progressive is passed. So any employer who denies a woman her “Mother’s Day” leave, will face some serious legal action.
DON’T TAKE ADVANTAGE
The “Mother’s Day” leave has raised some concerns in Zambia, which can lead to termination if anyone violates the law. Zambia’s labor minister, Joyne Nonde-Simukoko states that you can be fired if you leave town, or are caught shopping, doing your hair, or even farming. As you can see, it’s not like they’re giving women an extra vacation day.
LEAVE IN THE EAST
Japan, South Korea and Indonesia also offer women some form of menstrual leave. While Taiwan offers women three days off per year if they’re suffering from cramps. We can only hope that the rest of the world figures out how to help women with their work-life balance while dealing with this gory monthly visitor.