That was mostly because Mochizuki was lucky – her timing was not a big deal. But She is also reluctant to exercise her right to a long stay in Japan because it would involve telling her manager, who is mostly a man, that he is menstruating.
Mochizuki, who works on event management, said: “It is very private and especially in Japan, it is still forbidden.” “We do not want to talk about this with men.”
Japan’s right to rest has been in place for more than 70 years, and it is not the only country in Asia to have such a policy. South Korea adopted a temporary leave in 1953. And in China and India, provinces and companies are adopting a monthly leave policy with multiple entitlements.
However the landscape on the other side of the world, it looks very different. The period break policy is almost non-existent in the US, UK and Europe.
And even in countries where there is a period of rest, women are often divided whether it is a step back or a sign of progress when it comes to women’s rights. Some argue that it is necessary for women to work during maternity leave, while others say it makes women less capable than men and can lead to further discrimination.
Widely available, but rarely used
Japan introduced its one-time leave policy in 1947 to address labor rights concerns.
For at least one and a half decades, women factory workers have been allowed to take time off work to get relief from pod labor and poor hygiene, while experiencing menstrual cramps. After Japan won World War II, the country wrote out a new labor law that would be fair to all female workers, whose term is “particularly difficult.”
As time went on, there were fewer women than men to choose from. A 2017 Japanese government survey found that only 0.9% of female employees claimed time off.
In South Korea, consumption is declining. In a 2013 survey, 23.6% of South Korean women were employed Leave. In 2017, the rate dropped to 19.7%.
There Are a few reasons that may explain this. Although all companies in Japan require a ceasefire when they request it, they do not have to pay. Yumiko Murakami, director of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Tokyo’s Center for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said:
But The biggest problem in both South Korea and Japan is culture.
Mochizuki remembers one of her co-workers taking a break. “I thought, ‘Why?’ And “How can you do that, how do you tell your boss?”
On top of that, period remains a sensitive topic. When women buy tons from the store, For example, the clerk puts them in a brown paper bag, as if they were something to hide.
“If you tell someone you’re resting because of your time, that will make you look less like a man,” she said.
Case for vacation
Elsewhere in Asia, companies are not just taking time off to recruit their workers – they are also issuing political statements.
For example, the Indian food delivery company, Zomato, said when it announced its policy in August that it wanted to change perceptions in India where there is a period of shame.
But Zomato’s announcement also received a flurry on social media, with critics arguing that the policy could weaken women or prevent executives from hiring female workers. Some who oppose such actions are women.
According to the University of Sydney’s Elizabeth Hill, who studies gender and employment, rest periods are more challenging, even among women, as there is little information about whether rest periods help or hinder women in the workplace.
Hill says many of the arguments over the period leave are similar to that That was Went against abortion. Opponents argue that making employers pay their mothers could prevent them from hiring women.
But Hill also says there is now evidence that common housing abortion policies are more motivating to women in the workforce than encouraging them to leave.
Deepa Narayan, a social scientist and former World Bank senior adviser, said: “It’s a miraculous review of what the problem is – the problem is work, not women.”
Guneet Monga, Producer Academy Award-winning short documentary Zomato’s claim seems to be progressive, but even if it turns to other workplaces, it will not affect the millions of women in India who do not work in the office.
“I think all these ideas about women’s rights and equality and femininity are not an option in the lower echelons. They work every day to feed. They work in the crisis that exists,” she said. “I encourage a half-hearted discussion, but I think it ‘s a long way before we see a change.”
Why break time does not stop in the West
Every few years, the headlines of the holiday period hit the headlines in the West. As often, it is accompanied by scraping of the idea of why it is a bad idea.
Following Zomato’s announcement, the Washington Post’s headline read: “I’m a woman who gives women a day off for their period is a foolish idea.” The article argues that the period leave is a “paternity and stupidity” that “reaffirms the biological limitations of a woman’s life.”
Hill, a Sydney professor, says there is mysterious evidence that young women and men in the West tend to embrace the idea, while older women are opposed. Older women often feel that because they find it difficult to work during menstruation, younger women should do the same.
She noted that there are different designs for vacation periods – and not all policies are created equal.
Some argue that there should be a right to personal relaxation for all genders, Hill said. Some have even called for an increase in sick leave to include a temporary break, although critics say women do not get sick when they menstruate – they are experiencing a normal biological process.
Evidence suggests that there are certain requirements – and requirements – for periodic breaks in the West.
About 68% said they wished they had more flexible work options or more study hours in their spare time. But most – under 81% – are working anyway, even if they feel like yielding sugar as a result of their symptoms. Yields are lost almost nine days a year, according to the study.
At the Victorian Women Trust, executive director Mary Crooks says the benefits of a break can be “absolutely sayable” for her office, which employs 13 women.
“You should not be dishonest about why you can not come to work, and why you can not work effectively,” she said.
The trust policy gives women a choice: a comfortable place to work in the office, permission to work from home or take a monthly break of up to 12 days each year.
Crooks said that in the four years since the introduction, staff have taken just 21 days off between them.
Cultures are adapted and employees feel comfortable discussing their monthly needs and taking better care of themselves. Because employees feel respected by their company, they also work more efficiently, Mr. Crooks added.
“I think there is nothing but the benefits that have arisen in our workplace as a result,” she said. “For us, the elimination of shame and hatred is one of the greatest things in the image of gender equality.”
That is certainly the case in Japan, where contempt still exists.
Part of the reason why women do not take time off work, according to the OECD MECkami culture, is that the culture surrounding stay and menstruation makes women fear that taking it may lead to discrimination by their employers.
“I think the law is actually there to help women, but if it is not done well, it could hurt women,” she said.
CNN’s Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to the story from Tokyo, Japan. CNN’s Gawon Bae and Yoonjung Seo contribute from Seoul, South Korea.