By Shikha Sreenivas
Zambian women can now take a one day leave from work every month, when they are on their period. In Zambia, where discussing periods is considered taboo, this provision — regardless of whether one is a mother or not — is called Mother’s Day.
Japan has had the option of menstrual leave for women since 1947, and countries like South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and even one Indian company have also adopted the policy. This is reportedly for the health of the workforce, and ensuring productivity.
Period pains can cause abdominal cramps, which can even spread to the back and the thighs. According to WHC, 80 percent of women experience period pain, and in 5 percent to 10 percent, the pain is extremely severe. But most women experience discomfort on the first day of their period. So even as the law could come as a blessing for many, there’s still a lot of debate around the subject — some employers cite productivity issues, and some even suspect women could be playing hooky.
But the very euphemism of “Mother’s Day” equates womanhood to motherhood, merging the two identities. Many argue that it may strengthen an attitude in the workplace of “feminine weakness”.
Though a solution to this isn’t not having the policy. If patriarchal mindsets are around, they’ll find another way to push women to the side. The way around this isn’t avoiding certain mindsets, but strong campaigns to change them.
We approve of this ‘red’ carpet treatment to Zambian women, and frankly we’re tickled pink!