One UK-Based Company Is Giving Women Time Off During Their Periods
Ladies, have you ever had a moment where your cramps were so debilitating, your bloating was so excessive, and your headaches were so pervasive from your menstrual cramps that you would do anything to be able to take the day off from work? Well, if you worked for one particular company in the United Kingdom, you would be able to.
The company Coexist, which is located in Bristol, has created a “period policy” for their largely female staff to “[increase] wellbeing, [decrease] stress, [and increase] productivity and happiness in the workplace,” according to a post on the Coexist Facebook Page.
Bex Baxter, one of the directors at Coexist, told the Bristol Post that she has seen members of the staff bent over in pain during the workday, but these women stay because they don’t believe this classifies as feeling unwell. Baxter is trying to rid the shame and ridicule associated with menstruation and take a positive approach to a pervasive problem.
On Coexist’s Facebook post, many have voiced their support. For those who were skeptical that women with periods were being banished from the office, Coexist was quick to assure that the leave was not mandatory, and that women don’t have to take the time off if they want to. But considering that recent research has shown that one out of every ten women is bedridden from menstrual pain, and four out of every ten women say the pain affects their concentration at work, it’s likely that many women appreciate the offer.
Although the United States doesn’t currently have any laws regarding menstrual leave, in many East Asian countries, it is a legal right for many female workers. Since 1947, women in Japan are allowed seirikyuuka (“physiological leave”). Women in Taiwan can take up to three menstruation leave days per year. South Korea has similar laws as well.
Although some people might see these law as harming the feminist movement or reverse sexism, there are plenty of women who would be grateful to be given a free out on days their uterus is in pain. In the mean time, the rest of us working women will just have to use our sick days or push through those pesky cramps.