Menstrual pain is a chronic and debilitating condition for many women, Source: Depositphotos

French Senate says "no" to menstrual leave, some French towns won't listen

French Senate says "no" to menstrual leave, some French towns won't listen

Women living in these communities will have the right to take two days off a month, if needed

Last month, France was almost on the verge of instituting the so-called “menstrual leave” for women suffering from endometriosis and severe cases of dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain), but it wasn’t meant to be. The Senate, controlled by the right, rejected the bill tabled by the socialists and environmentalists regarding the matter.

It turns out, however, that at least as far as four small communities in the Indre-et-Loire department were concerned that wasn’t the end of the story. The municipalities of Chinon and Avoine, the community of communes of Chinon Vienne and Loire, as well as the intercommunal social action centre (CIAS) have decided to apply for menstrual leave on their own.

2 million French women suffer from endometriosis

More specifically, the menstrual leave from work for women residing in these communities will be defined as a “special authorization of absence”, allowing them to take two days per month, with a limit of 13 days per year.

For many women, especially those with endometriosis, the period is torture,” Aude, a woman from the Endo Morphoses association in Eure-et-Loir told France 3. Endo Morphoses is an organization that provides support to women suffering from the condition. According to Assurance Maladie, the country's public health insurance office, 2 million women suffer from endometriosis, which is more than 1 in 10 of all women.

The idea of a menstrual leave is slowly gaining traction, nevertheless. It is independently also being tested out and introduced by some French companies, however, it still lacks state support.

In France’s southern neighbour – Spain – the situation looks rather different. The Iberian country proved its colours as a pioneer in the social and labour rights spheres after making “menstrual leave” a legal recourse for female workers in 2022.



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