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3-day menstrual leave for Italian women

3-day menstrual leave for Italian women
Highlights

 Italy is set to become the first country in Europe to offer paid menstrual leave to women suffering from period pain.

Italy is set to become the first country in Europe to offer paid menstrual leave to women suffering from period pain.

Rome’s lower house of parliament has started discussions on a draft law which, if approved, will mean all companies in Italy will have to allow women who experience painful periods an extra three days’ off a month, the Daily Mail reported.

The Italian edition of women’s magazine Marie Claire described it as “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability”. But the bill has drawn criticism from some women’s rights campaigners who fear that the new law will discourage firms from hiring women, the Mail reported.

Lorenza Pleuteri wrote in women’s magazine Donna Moderna (Moder Woman): “Employers could become even more oriented to hire men rather than women”.

Miriam Goi, a feminist writer at Vice Italy, also said the new law could “end up reinforcing stereotypes about women being more emotional during their periods.”

Italy has one of the lowest rates of female workers in Europe, only 61 per cent. The European average is 72 per cent. This is in part due to the reluctance of companies to hire women or retain them after they become mothers. According to a report by ISTAT, Italy’s national bureau of statistics, almost one-fourth of pregnant workers are fired during or right after their pregnancies. According to the Daily Mail Italian labour laws are “already quite generous to women.” Italian women are entitled to five months’ paid maternity leave, on which they receive 80 per cent of their salary. Mothers can then take an extra six months' leave, receiving 30 per cent of their salaries.

It is unclear whether women would have to prove if they are suffering from menstrual pain.

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