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Menstrual leave

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Title: Menstrual leave  
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Subject: Menstrual cycle, Women's rights
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Menstrual leave

Menstrual leave is a type of leave where a woman may have the option to take paid or unpaid leave from her employment if she is menstruating and is unable to go to work because of this.[1][2] Menstrual leave is considered controversial by some because it can be seen as a criticism of women's work efficiency or as sexism.[3][4]


  • History 1
  • Changing times 2
  • Laws in place 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The concept of menstrual leave started in Japan in the early 20th century. In the 1920s, Japanese labor unions started to demand leave (seiri kyuka) for their female workers. In 1947, a law was brought into force by the Japanese Labor Standards that allowed menstruating women to take days off work. Then a unique legislation of its kind, it is now found in a few countries. Debate continues as to whether it is a medical necessity or a discriminatory measure.[5][6]

Changing times

Nike also included menstrual leave in their Code of Conduct in 2007, implemented around the globe wherever they operate. Nike obliges the business partners to follow the code principles by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.[7] Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) started a campaign for menstrual leave for female employees at Toyota. The union asked for 12 paid days of menstrual leave for a woman per year.[8]

Laws in place

In Indonesia, under the Labor Act of 1948, women have a right to two days of menstrual leave per month.[9]

In Japan, Article 68 of the Labour Standards Law states "When a woman for whom work during menstrual periods would be specially difficult has requested leave, the employer shall not employ such woman on days of the menstrual period."[10][11] While Japanese law requires that a woman going through especially difficult menstruation be allowed to take leave, it does not require companies to provide paid leave or extra pay for women who choose to work during menstruation.

In Korea, not only are female employees entitled to menstrual leave according to the Article 71 of the Labour Standards Law,[12] but they are also ensured additional pay if they do not take the menstrual leave that they are entitled to.[13]

The Philippines government considered the House Bill 4888, known as the Menstruation Leave Act of 2008, which was initiated by the Alliance of Rural Concern (ARC) representative. The bill aimed to grant mandatory menstruation leave to all private and government female employees, except those pregnant and menopausal, at half pay.[14]

In Russia, a draft law was proposed in 2013 to give women two days paid leave per month during menstruation.[15]

In Taiwan, the Act of Gender Equality in Employment gives women three paid days per year from menstruation leave. [16]


  1. ^ classprojects. "menstrual leave". 
  2. ^ cleanclothes. "what is menstruation leave". 
  3. ^ Iuliano, Sarah. "Menstrual leave: delightful or discriminatory?". 5 August 2013. Lip Magazine. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Price, Catherine (11 October 2006). "Should women get paid menstruation leave?". Salon. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  5. ^ JSTOR. "Japan's 1986 Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the Changing Discourse on Gender".  
  6. ^ HARVARD UNIVERSITY, 2007. "Periodic struggles: Menstruation leave in modern Japan". 
  7. ^ apparelsearch. "NIKE Policy". 
  8. ^ abc. "Unions seek 'menstrual leave' for Toyota workers". 
  9. ^ Govt. of Indonesia. "Labour Act". 
  10. ^ International Labour Organization. "National Labour Law Profile: Japan". 
  11. ^ asianfoodworker. "Comparison of the Japanese Laws and Model CBA of UI ZENSEN on Maternity Protection". 
  12. ^ International Labour Organization. "National Labour Law Profile: Japan". 
  13. ^ joongangdaily. "Once again, court orders menstrual leave payout". 
  14. ^ Maila Ager (August 18, 2008). "Mandatory menstruation leave measure filed in House". Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  15. ^ Owoseje, Toyin (July 31, 2013). "Menstruation Leave: Russian Lawmaker Proposes Paid Days Off For Women Employees on Period". International Business Times. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  16. ^ The China Post. "Gender equality in employment act revised". 

External links

  • F-Paper
  • A research report by Global Labour University alumni
  • Menstrual leave 'good for companies'
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