Enact laws to provide menstrual leave for affected women, PBM says

PARTI Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) urged the Government to consider enacting laws to provide women suffering from severe period pains (dysmenorrhea) leaves to help them.  

“We urge the Women, Family and Community Development and Human Resources Ministries to set up a taskforce to study the matter. PBM will also be writing to the ministries to share our views,” said its deputy president Haniza Mohamed Talha, in a statement.  

Elaborating on the matter, Haniza said that menstrual leave is nothing new as several countries such as Indonesia had already enacted a law on it.  

“Indonesian women who suffer from acute period pain can take up to two days a month of menstrual leave. Other countries which have menstrual leave include South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. 

“In fact, the Spanish government just approved a Bill that grants women such leave,” she noted.  

For too long, Haniza added, policy makers had been reluctant to deal with menstrual health issues particularly those from Asia despite menstrual health being an integral part of women’s rights.  

Such neglect, the Lembah Jaya state assemblyperson stated, has become a disservice to half of Malaysia’s population.  

“Some women experience severe period pains, to the point where it causes headache, diarrhoea, dizziness, vomiting, pain down the legs or even fainting spells.  

“It would be unfair to expect them to use up their annual medical leave quota for a condition that may recur monthly,” she lamented.  

Citing data, Haniza said that research by YouGov in 2017 on dysmenorrhea among working women indicated that 86% of the respondents said they suffered from period pain.  

Within that figure, 81% of the respondents said that their condition had affected their ability to work properly.  

Haniza remarked: “Women should not be discriminated against for their biological bodily functions and PBM will continue to stand for their rights to ensure a more equitable society.” – May 24, 2022

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