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Italy may become 1st Western country to offer women paid menstrual leave

By WITW Staff on March 27, 2017

Italy may become the first Western country to grant women who experience painful periods paid “menstrual leave.” If the policy goes ahead, companies will be required to offer female employees three paid days off each month.

Menstrual leave started in Japan in 1947 and has since been adopted in varying forms by a string of countries including South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. The sportswear giant Nike is reported to be the sole international company to officially offer menstrual leave as part of its Code of Conduct. Last year, a small company in the U.K. announced it was offering women employees “period leave.”

The proposal has nonetheless sparked a degree of controversy. While Marie Claire has lauded what it deemed a progressive policy, Lorenza Pleuteri expressed her concerns in the women’s magazine, Donna Moderna, that the proposal might backfire on women by dis-incentivizing certain firms from hiring more women. For writer Miriam Goi it risked promoting the negative stereotype that women are more emotional during their period.

When the Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett discussed the topic in September during an appearance on BBC, her comments prompted quite a backlash and she was even accused of sexism.

Read the full story at Market Watch.


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