Italy may grant paid ‘menstrual leave’ to female employees

ROME (WFLA) — Italian women who suffer debilitating cramps, bloating and other menstrual pain may soon earn paid “menstrual leave.”

The country’s parliament is debating a bill brought forth by four female members, that would give women up to three paid days off each month to recover from extremely painful periods.

Under the new bill, women must present a doctor’s diagnosis of dysmenorrhea, throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen, which can lead to vomiting and headaches.

Marie Claire Italy, as quoted in the Independent, hailed the bill as a “standard bearer of progress and sustainability.”

Others worry what the bill would mean for women in the workplace.

Lorenza Pleuteri wrote in the Italian women’s magazine Donna Moderna that if the law passes, “employers could become even more oriented to hire men rather than women.”

According to OECD data, Italian women are employed at lower rates than men and have the lowest workforce participation among high-income economies.  Less than 50 percent of Italian women are employed and of those, only about a third are full-time workers.

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