A woman with severe menstrual pain
Image: Courtesy

Menstrual pain! Ever wondered what women go through during that time of the month?

If not, it's high time you take some time to figure out what women endure, and maybe you'll be vouching for the inception of a paid menstrual leave in your country. 

In the modern world, a number of countries are slowly legislating policies that approve of the need for women to take menstrual leave.

Kenya should emulate the same and come to terms with employing a policy that embraces our women and the nature that comes with being a woman. 

In 1947,  Japan introduced seasonal leave in favour of their women and also included it in the worker's rights.

For at least ten years, female factory workers were given periodic leave to get relief from the hard work and poor sanitation while they struggled with menstrual cramps.

After Japan's defeat in World War II, the country enshrined seasonal leave in its new labor law as a right for all working women with particularly heavy periods.

Other countries which have embraced the same are; South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan.


What many people fail to acknowledge is the fact that a lot of women wipe out during their menstrual cycle.

Periods can be painful and involve heavy bleeding, mood swings, and heightened sensitivity.

In addition, they can create a lot of shame and the need to hide from the world. Unfortunately, some women don’t feel they need the time to recuperate.

In Kenya, the stigma surrounding a woman’s menstrual cycle is so great that many women continue to go to work in spite of painful periods.

Needless to say, their focus is compromised and as a result, the quality of work deteriorates.  

If Kenya introduces this policy, companies or employers would also benefit as studies from the Douglas College Research Group have shown that on average menstrual pain and symptoms account for almost nine days of lost productivity per woman each month.

This implies that in those nine days companies suffer unknowingly from low productivity among the women thus a contributing factor to low proceeds of a company.


Nevertheless, vaginal bleeding during menstruation can negatively affect a woman's productivity, causing health problems if not treated properly.

With the legislation policy put in place, it will help eliminate the stigma around menstruation, boost the well-being of women, and also increase a company's productivity and well-being. 

It is time to stop treating periods and what is associated with them as a taboo. Kenyans it is time to push for a legal menstrual leave policy.

This concept and idea of ​​menstrual leave is not alien to our culture. Simply put, it needs to be used more, accepted, and normalized.

Therefore, menstrual leave legislation should be implemented in the country so that women can take the necessary time off each month to recover and maintain their physical and mental well-being. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer's own. Do you agree or disagree