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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 3 - 9  > Public recognition of health issues related to menstruation is needed
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2021 November 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Public recognition of health issues related to menstruation is needed

November 8, 2021

'Morning breeze' column

Japan's Labor Standards Act allows female workers to take menstrual leave. However, only 0.9% of female workers use this right, according to an equal opportunity survey conducted by the Labor Ministry. The percentage has been decreasing since its peak at 26.2% in 1965.

A lack of understanding about physical, mental, and emotional issues that emerge during menstruation prevents female workers from taking menstrual leave. Many women say that they do not want their male colleagues to know when they are menstruating and that they are afraid of being seen as "big babies".

The voluntary group called "#everyone's period" explained that talking about periods at work is somehow considered taboo and that there has been a lack of relevant information. The group said that many schoolgirls and working women hesitate to complain of menstrual issues due to the absence of appropriate care at work and school.

Menstruation is a natural biological matter. It is necessary for all people, irrespective of gender, to learn about it. Employers and schools should provide an environment where everyone can gain a better understanding about menstruation to help to improve the health of women.

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