This is a surprise: some countries have a policy of giving women paid leave from their jobs for “that time of the month.” Is this a well-intentioned perk or sex discrimination? Men cannot take advantage of menstrual leave, but most women don’t need it, either. Japan instituted the policy after World War II; Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia enacted the policy more recently. Russian feminists rejected the proposed policy. The amount of paid leave varies from two days a month in Indonesia to three days a year in Taiwan.
However, as these countries attempt to move toward greater gender equality in the workplace, menstrual leave has come under debate. Do these policies simply further the notion that women are weak, hormonally-addled creatures controlled by their uteri? Or do they encourage more equality by accommodating female workers’ biological demands, much as maternity leave does?
It’s not even a question in the United States, because we don’t do mandated paid leave at all. What do you think? Read about the policies in place at the Atlantic.
(Image credit: Flickr user Lindsay Attaway, cropped)