Italy Debating Bill to Require Paid Menstrual Leave
The legislation, which was drafted by four female lawmakers from the country’s Democratic Party, would have a major impact on women with debilitating menstrual side effects, allowing them to avoid using their sick days.
Although this new policy might sound like a step in the right direction -- it has potential repercussions. While Marie Claire Italia calls it “a standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability,” many others are concerned that it would instead reduce the number of women that companies hire. Already, only a reported 61 percent of Italian women are in the workforce, which is below the European average of 72 percent.
“The demand for female employees among companies might decrease, or women could be further penalized both in terms of salary and career advancement,” Daniela Piazzalunga, an economist at research institute FBK-IRVAPP, told The Washington Post.
Unfortunately, Italy's national bureau of statistics, ISTAT, reported that, although illegal, almost a quarter of pregnant workers are fired during or shortly after their pregnancies.