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Should we have menstrual leave in Singapore?

May 22, 2014 - 10:54pm


Before this week, I had never heard of menstrual leave.

I've since been enlightened by The Atlantic’s Emily Matchar.

In her column, she puts a spotlight on how some countries, mostly East Asian ones, have instituted menstrual leave, some as early as 1947. 

Instead of having to suffer excruciating pain while at work, I could stay home - if I was working in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea or Indonesia, that is.

Why not here?

When I'm keeling over at my desk, vomiting into my dustbin and trying my best not to cry, do I want the choice of being able to go home?

The answer is yes.

The flip side is - how do you prevent menstrual leave from being abused? What happens when you hit menopause?

But I'm not overstating the torture. Once, I was in so much pain that a concerned passerby called for an ambulance.

Here's what women in other Asian countries get during that time of the month, according to The Atlantic.


If you have painful periods or if your job worsens the pain, you can take seirikyuuka (physiological leave).

The law has been in place since 1947.


Women have been getting three days of menstrual leave a year since the country’s Act of Gender Equality in Employment was amended last year.

This is on top of the 30 days of half-paid sick leave for all workers.


Women can take two days a month of menstrual leave.

But many companies do not follow this law.

South Korea

Since 2001, women can take menstrual leave.

Should Singapore have paid menstrual leave? Tell us what you think.

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