China debates if the new menstrual leave policy will really help women


Chinese in cramps

A new labor regulation is set to take effect in east China’s Anhui Province, allowing female employees to avail menstrual leave for one to two days every month.

The regulation, which comes into force on March 1, also bans employers from treating female employees unfairly because of their gender, allows a minimum of 15 days of leave for women who undergo abortions, and requires employers to provide nursery rooms as part of the essential facilities at the workplace.

The regulation has won much support on social media in China, with many people calling for it to be replicated in other provinces. However, questions are also being raised regarding the rationality of some of the rules.

For instance, the regulation says that an employee needs a medical certificate to prove that she is feeling unwell during periods in order to take leave. Given that, some are asking how these women will go to a hospital to obtain the proof if they are in pain and choosing not to go to work.

Others, meanwhile, are also worried about the effectiveness of the new regulation and how it could potentially have the adverse impact on the prospects of women landing jobs.

“I think this regulation will make it even harder for women to find jobs.” Weibo user @Olalipapa’s view is one of the most shared among netizens.

“In future interviews, the interviewer will ask female interviewees: ‘Do you have painful menstruation?’” wrote @Xiguadenanguadedonggua.

“Looks like it is protecting women’s rights, but it eventually will make things worse. The discrimination at work will never end if the rights of women and men are not balanced,” wrote @Woshiyamiedie.


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