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In America, women have to suffer getting paid less than men for the same work. They also get the short end of the stick when it comes to time off. Although men and women with equivalent job titles and experience are usually given the same amount of paid time off, women have to endure working through menstrual pain. Shouldn’t that entitle them to more paid time off every year? Lawmakers in Italy think so.


Four women in Italian Parliament are drafting a new law that would give official “menstrual leave” to working women. If passed, the law would grant women who experience painful periods three days of paid leave each month. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 20 percent of women suffer from pain associated with menstruation that’s so intense it interferes with their ability to work. Although some women applaud the law, there are many who are adamantly against it.

Some believe the law could backfire because employers would simply hire men instead. While others believe the law reinforces negative stereotypes about menstruation that women have been fighting for generations. “Women are already taking days off because of menstrual pains, but the new law would allow them to do so without using sick leaves or other permits,” economist Daniela Piazzalunga told The Independent. “I wouldn’t exclude that (if the law is approved) this would lead to negative repercussions: The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalized both in terms of salary and career advancement.”