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Italy could soon become the first Western country to offer paid “menstrual leave” to female workers.
The proposed law is currently being debated in the country’s parliament. If passed, it would mandate that companies enforce a “menstrual leave” policy and offer three paid days off each month to working women who experience painful periods.
Health experts and local media outlets have praised the proposal, saying it was a step in the right direction and would shed light on the silent plight of women suffering from debilitating cramps that can sometimes affect their ability to work.
Writing in Donna Moderna, another women’s magazine, Lorenza Pleuteri argued that if women were granted extra paid leave, employers would be even more reluctant to hire women, in a country where women already struggle to integrate the workforce.
In fact, due to enduring cultural stereotypes, Italy has one of the lowest rates of female labor participation in the workforce , with a staggering one in four women getting fired just before or after getting pregnant, according to the Italian National Institute for Statistics.