Is menstruation leave a right or a privilege to women workers? Check out this article to find out more.
Besides pregnancy and the maternity leave, another thing related to female workers’ rights is menstruation leave. Although some companies and some countries have applied this, there are mixed reactions – even among women workers themselves.
Some agree that it is necessary, while others debate about how it shows how female employees are not as strong as their male counterparts at work, which is the reason that they should be paid less.
Is it true that women workers’ rights are still being neglected? Is it a problem to the campaigning for “gender equality at work”? Then, how about the sanitary issue at work, like clean water and close, accessible toilets? Check out these facts:
- Menstrual leave is not just all about the health and well-being of female workers. It is true that some women can suffer a great deal of pain that it affects their performance at work. Although it has been stated in Article 81 of The Indonesian Labor Law Number 13 / 2003, not many female workers, especially in Jakarta, take this leave. Some decide not to because their period does not affect their work performance.
- For others who are badly affected by their period, taking a menstrual leave can still be problematic at work. The general issue occurs from how even talking about this is still considered a major taboo and can cause humiliation, mockery (especially from immature male workers), and even harassment. This is why they prefer keeping quiet or choosing to take a sick leave instead, since period basically can cause physical sickness too.
- Another gender-related issue is how gender equality at work is considered a fluke due to menstrual leave and maternity leave. What most people have missed for centuries is that the idea of equality itself. Since men and women are different, the idea of gender equality is actually more about equal respect and appreciation for both genders at work – as intelligent creatures capable of work.
- Many also forget that environmental issues like unclean workplace (especially in third world countries) met with menstrual hygiene management should also be properly addressed. Water and sanitation issues at work may hinder female workers’ contribution to the workplace, because they have to deal with their period pain and the possibility of getting infected by unclean water.
Reference: annual leave of employees in Indonesia
For example: a Trans-Jakarta female staff at the bus shelter often have problems using public toilets during work hours. Not only they have to go all the way out to find the closest one, but the most accessible toilet may not be ideal nor hygienic.
This is why menstrual leave is not only important to female employees. It is also very critical. It may be an option to some women to take, if they consider that their period does not affect their performance at work. Even if they are somewhat in pain and can still handle it, they are not obliged to take the leave.
However, this does not mean those who prefer taking a menstrual leave a laughing stock. If that is the case (including the environmental issues that are still way overlooked), then it is no surprise that many people still believe that women workers’ rights are still being neglected.