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“Controversy Surrounding Menstrual Leave: A Critical Analysis”


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Spain recently I have adopted a menstrual leave policywhich makes additional vacation days (paid or unpaid) available to “Only and all cisgender women. ”

It’s great that we’re having more public conversations about menstrual health and menopause, but I’m so tired of being told that period leave is the answer.

As someone with a background in policy evaluation and founder of the first evidence-based scientist Period Health website, I am in a good position to comment on this topic. When I evaluated current menstrual leave policies around the world, I found that they were not progressive or helpful Female reproductive health or gender equality.

The thing is, it’s really hard to argue against something that sounds good, even if the available evidence suggests otherwise. It seems that humans are bad at moving beyond superficial ideas and we might even prefer stories that go along with them rather than challenging gender stereotypes.

So here’s a quick summary of what I think you should know about this policy.

what’s the problem?

there Four main arguments Used by those who promote a period leave policy:

  1. It will make the workplace suitable for the menstruating woman’s body.

  2. It will improve the health of the menstrual cycle.

  3. It will reduce the shame and stigma associated with menstruation, and the associated discrimination.

  4. You will work to improve gender equality in the workplace and beyond.

Exactly how the policy will achieve these results is not made clear, however. In fact, based on what we know about current period leave policies, you may not be contributing to any of them.

For example, the policy doesn’t make it easier to manage your period at work because your employer doesn’t have to change anything. Instead, we encourage you to stay away from the workplace.

The policy also does nothing to improve menstrual health. 90% of people who menstruate are You do not regularly experience severe symptoms You don’t need to take a full day off work during their periods.

Meanwhile, the minority who regularly experience severe symptoms almost always have them An underlying health issue, such as endometriosis, heavy menstrual bleeding, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, autoimmune disorders, depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Encouraging people to deal with severe symptoms on their own at home every month, however, is not an effective or humane solution.

These health conditions deserve timely and effective medical diagnosis and treatment, sick leave, and reasonable workplace adjustments. The same things that apply to all chronic health conditions that are already covered Labor policies in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Nor does period leave help reduce shame, stigma, and discrimination during menstruation. It actually promotes the removal of menstruation – and therefore women – from the public domain by hiding it in the home.

This gender-based policy combines healthy periods and debilitating health conditions for menstruation, which leads to diseases of the natural female body and undermines health conditions that mainly affect women. This is partly why women exist and the conditions that primarily affect women More likely to be dismissed by doctorstake sometimes years to obtain a formal diagnosis.

Finally, by medicalizing menstruation (that is, positioning it as a disease rather than a health process), these policies reinforce sexist beliefs that make it seem as if all women biologically inferior (mentally and physically). This is a major contributing factor to gender discrimination, especially in the workplace, because so are these ideas used to undermine The value and contribution of women and their leadership potential.

Taking a period off can make things worse

Not only have current menstrual leave policies failed to address the problems they were set out to solve, they also directly result from them. Discrimination against female workers. This is largely due to the gender myths that politics have reinforced. It makes all women look like more expensive, less stable and less productive employees. It can also lead to a backlash from colleagues and employers on the basis of gender.

We already know that shared parental leave (for fathers regardless of gender) is a A more effective maternity leave policy (which is the female sex). It improves the gender pay gap, women’s employment, promotion and leadership opportunities, child health outcomes, parenting experiences, and gender equality in the broader society.

These improvements occur because the policy avoids the gendered backlash associated with maternity leave. This backlash is driven by conscious or unconscious resentment of working women and the associated discrimination due to unfair advantage (paid time off) and/or biological responsibility (the female reproductive body). the Same issues Healthy workplace policies apply during menstruation and menopause.

We need to improve workplace (and school and medical) knowledge of reproductive health and well-being. We should all know What is normal Or a sign of an underlying health condition. Likewise, it’s shocking that some people don’t know Why do we menstruate? Or how to reduce cyclical changes.

We also need to make Workplaces (including schools) suitable for those on periods And to promote more Flexible and fair work cultures and practices that benefit all employees. For example, the “attendance” challenge if employees feel obligated to work even when feeling unwell and giving up work Timed toilet breaks.

while this procedures Not as simple or as attractive as “period time off,” it will at least make a positive difference in the lives of millions of workers — without inadvertently exacerbating gender inequality.

Introduction to the conversation

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.Conversation

the quote: Opinion: Why Vacationing Your Period May Be Bad for Women (2023, April 28) Retrieved April 28, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-opinion-menstrual-bad-women.html

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