In the world of menstrual health, yet another country is making legal movements that will make life a little bit easier for women. Italy is talking about passing a law that grants paid leave for women who suffer from severe period pain. The bill Parliament is considering would allow women who suffer from rather debilitating periods to take up to three days off each month when their period arrives — without docking pay. Sounds pretty amazing, eh?
The Italian version of Marie Claire called this bill “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability,” and there are already many people in support of it. It’s certainly not surprising news to come out of Italy, considering they already offer their women citizens five months of paid maternity leave, a time period in which they receive 80 percent of their salary. It’s no wonder they’re extending similar rights to a woman who lives with an extremely painful period.
How exactly employers will determine whether a woman’s period is debilitating enough to offer her menstrual leave is yet to be announced. But economist Daniela Piazzalunga told the Independent that there’s certainly a need for it in many cases.
However, not everyone is in accord. Some experts are worried that this will encourage employers to hire men instead of women because they are afraid to lose business or revenue. Even Piazzalunga says there may be negative repercussions: “The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalised both in terms of salary and career advancement.”
We don’t know how this will play out, but we’re happy to watch it unfold, because there are many women out there — in Italy and all around the world — who do suffer from such painful periods that they aren’t able to go about their everyday business. We hope they find relief, whether it’s from this bill passing or another avenue of help.