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Stressed woman (Pexels)
Stressed woman (Pexels)

Italy may offer 'menstrual leave.' Not all women are on board.


Italy feels your pain, ladies.

The Italian Parliament is debating a bill to require companies to offer three days of "menstrual leave" for particularly harsh periods, The Independent reports.

But opponents of the law fear it could backfire, discouraging companies from hiring women. Only 61 percent of Italian women have jobs, well below the European average of 72 percent, The Independent reports. However, those that do are entitled to five months of paid maternity leave at 80 percent of their salaries.

The bill is divisive even among feminists and working women. The Italian edition of Marie Claire called it a "standard-bearer of progress and social sustainability."

But Miriam Goi of Vice Italy said it could end up reinforcing stereotypes about women becoming emotional during their periods. And economist Daniela Piazzalunga said women already take days off for menstrual pain, and adding mandatory leave could increase the gender income gap.

Nike store
The NIKE symbol hangs on the wall by the entrance of the NIKE department store at North Park Mall as customers are seen exiting the store Monday, March 19, 2012, in Dallas.

Japan, South Korea and parts of China have similar laws on the books already. Nike has also reportedly introduced menstrual leave for its staff.

Should companies be required to offer 'menstrual leave?'
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