By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Female activists in South Africa are calling on parliamentarians to initiate laws offering menstrual leave to female workers as obtainable in other countries of the world.
At the moment, workers who work five days per week are entitled to 30 days’ leave every 36 months.
However, women feel that menstrual leave should also be considered for the female workforce.
For many women, their menstrual cycle is a painful experience. Termed dysmenorrhea, some women have to be confined to their beds due to the extremity of the abdominal pain associated with their monthly flow.
In the last couple of years, countries such as Indonesia, Zambia, Taiwan and South Korea have legislated laws that enable female workers to take paid or unpaid leave to deal with dysmenorrhoea.
Spain is the latest country to join in offering their female workers time off for the condition.
Women in the country are also appealing to the government to also consider giving working women time off when going through a painful menstrual cycle.
This view is supported by menstruation advocates such as Candice Chirwa, popularly known as the minister of periods.
Chirwa says that employers should not have to wait on government to introduce the time off but should be proactive in advancing the needs of their female workforce
The Department of Public Service and Administration says that it’s currently unable to comment on the issue.
While government mulls over the matter, millions of women remain hopeful that lawmakers will heed their plight.