This is a problem that affects 60% of women, but some countries have no laws protecting women who suffer from dysmenorrhea, providing for a menstrual leave. Attempts in this regard have been made in several countries, a number of times, but resistance to such a law has always been very strong, sometimes coming from where you would least expect it.

At a fist glance it might seem something trivial, but for many women dysmenorrhea is a real nightmare they have to confront once a month. Yet opposition to a law regulating the issue comes from feminists themselves. But the enterprises that have tried menstrual leave have acknowledged that women who return from menstrual leave are so regenerated that their working performance is twice as good as it is in normal conditions. Plus, they would feel much more relaxed – knowing they would no longer have to wait for that nightmarish period to come – and that too would help improve their overall performance at work.

That said, menstrual leave is granted in several countries, especially in the far east (in Japan and Taiwan, for example), where it is common belief that if a woman doesn’t get proper rest during her period, she risks becoming less fertile.

Nonetheless, the debate is still ongoing, even because not all women like the idea that their boss can follow their stages of their menstrual cycle. But it would be nice if women didn’t have to consider their period as some sort of taboo. Perhaps the very request of a menstrual leave could gradually make the issue something we can all speak of normally, including men. Unfortunately, though, female issues, such as this one, are often considered mere whims.

Another thorny issue related to the menstrual cycle is VAT on tampons and pads. These products are absolutely essential for millions of women and yet, despite such importance, in some countries they fall in the highest VAT range. That’s why, all over the world, a tax cut on tampons, known as tampon tax, has been called for, and quite some time ago. But so far, politicians have generally overlooked the problem.

For example, the website Wired shows that, among the major European countries, Italy is the one lagging behind the most, in this regard. Taxation on all types of tampons is 5% in the UK and 5.5% in France, while in Germany, VAT on tampons has dropped for the first time this year, from 19% to 7%.

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