African nation, Zambia has an interesting labor law. It says that women are entitled to take one day a month off for their period. This day is referred to as ‘mother’s day’ and is for all women including those who do not have children.
The law has been in for two years and makes Zambia the only African nation to make such a law.
The laws are being currently being debated in Zambia as some call giving women an extra 12 days off work a year “unproductive” and oppose the idea.
In defending the law labor commissioner Cecilia Mulindeti-Kamanga says :
Of course there has been some complaints here and there but women go at different times. There is no documentary evidence of low productivity.
Some women have said that their bosees or companies put pressure on them not to take the legally endorsed ‘mother’s day’ leave.
In an interview Shupe Luchembe, a Zambian civil servant explains how the day at home helps her:
It helps me manage my physiological needs. As a woman it goes without saying that every month I’ll need a special day to be away from the office and manage myself properly.
Even women who have been through menopause are entitled to the day. Many arguments have emerged both for and against the idea.
Some believe the day off invites abuse and exploitation from workers, while others are proud of the progressive nature of the legislation. Others have argued that a period does not only last one day. It is obviously an issue that has caused much debate.
Zambia’s law is one of only a few in the world that specifies a day of leave for women for this particular reason. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and some Chinese provinces also have similar laws for women.
In cases of severe pain, vomiting and discomfort women in countries that do not offer this ‘special’ day of leave, of course, would have the option of regular sick leave, if sick leave is afforded.
Watch this report on the current debate here:
Featured image via Youtube