ITALY (WCMH) — Italy may soon be the first Western country to offer paid menstrual leave to women.
The Italian parliament is considering legislation that would require businesses to offer women up to three paid days of leave per month. The law is aimed at helping women who experience painful periods.
Some say that the law would cause employers to rethink hiring women, but those who support the legislation say that by offering the leave, women will be happier and more comfortable, making them more productive workers in the long run.
Italy is already a leader in female-friendly labor laws, mandating five months of paid maternity leave for women. According to the Independent, new mothers receive 80 percent of their salary through the Italian version of Social Security during the mandatory leave. After the maternity leave is up, both new mothers and new fathers are allowed to take six additional months of parental leave, during which they receive 30 percent of their salary.
However, Italy is behind most developed countries in female workforce participation. According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, only a little over 60 percent of Italian women ages of 15 to 64 years old are employed, compared to 72 percent in the United States, 77 percent in the United Kingdom and 78 percent in Canada.
Only two other countries offer paid menstrual leave for women: Japan and Indonesia.