Amanda Pendolino
August 02, 2013

Should Women Get Paid Time Off for Their Periods?

Having your period sucks. But does it suck badly enough that you should get paid time off from work?

A new bill introduced in Russia would provide women with two paid days off while they’re menstruating.

As a freelancer who never gets any paid time off for anything at all, of course I’d jump at the chance to take two days off! But are period sick days really necessary?

Some women don’t support the law because it seems to suggest women are weak or unable to think clearly when they’re menstruating. Being dismissed as “crazy” or “on the rag” when you’re trying to have a serious discussion is one of the most infuriating things about being a woman.

Others suggest that women may abuse the law, taking time off when they don’t really need it — but people already abuse sick days that same way, and we can’t do much about that since only the sick person knows how sick he or she really is.

As someone who gets totally leveled by reproductive function each month, including a day or two of intense, medicine-resistant cramps, I think sometimes we do need to take off work for our periods. However, there’s no reason why period (or PMS) days can’t fall under the larger umbrella of general sick days. Perhaps women deserve to have a few more days than men to account for period days — but I think it’s in our best interest not to tell people (especially men) exactly what kind of sickness is preventing us from working.

Do you think we deserve period sick days?