Are women less efficient workers when they're on their period? One Russian legislator thinks so.
Russian lawmaker Mikhail Degtyaryov proposed a law that would give women two days of paid leave from work each month during their menstruation cycle. Degtyarygov said that the fatigue and emotional discomfort that women experience at that time can lead to reduced memory and reduced efficiency at work. Though his proposal has garnered a great deal of negative attention, he said that he was doing it with women's mental and physical comfort in mind.
"During that period (of menstruation), most women experience psychological and physiological discomfort. The pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance," said Degtyaryov.
While it may seem inappropriate to say "you're hormonal and lazy when you're on your period, so just stay home," Degtyaryov's proposal is not completely without merit. The symptoms that some women experience when menstruating can range from minor abdominal cramps to full-blown depression, with lots of different things in between. Binge eating, breast swelling, fatigue, and emotional disturbance are all pretty common during menstruation.
Still, since not all women experience those symptoms (or some experience them at varying degrees), Degtyaryov's proposal was met with a very cold reception from women's rights groups.
"If we are seriously debating women's efficiency at work during menstruation, we should also consider how fit for work men are after a drinking bout," said Marina Pisklahkova-Parker, head of Anna Carter, a women's group.
Degtyaryov is married with two sons. He is running for mayor of Moscow this year and has consistently received less than one percent support in the pre-election polls.