Green MPs on Friday proposed the introduction of menstrual leave for painful or incapacitating periods, two weeks after a socialist proposal along the same lines was tabled, with each group hoping to ignite the spark of a cross-partisan movement to breaking a “taboo”.

After the adoption of a law in Spain, the subject emerges in France. And the left is positioning itself.

In front of the press at the Assembly, the elected environmentalists presented an “applicable” proposal to “break the taboo on menstruation”. Co-author of this proposal with Marie-Charlotte Garin and Sébastien Peytavie, Sandrine Rousseau has “good hope” that it will be adopted “in a transpartisan manner”, even if it is not on the agenda at this stage.

Their text provides for the possibility of a work stoppage in the event of “incapacitating menstruation” (pain, nausea, headache, etc.), recognized by a doctor or a midwife. Data subjects could file thirteen days out of a year, depending on their needs. The work stoppage would be fully covered by health insurance and exempt from waiting days.

It could be renewed once a year, bringing the maximum duration to 26 days “for the most serious cases”.

On the PS side, MPs Mickaël Bouloux and Fatiha Keloua Hachi tabled their own text in early May, and senators did the same in April. “We are ready to lift the taboo of the rules”, insists Mr. Bouloux.

The PS deputies also propose a work stoppage of 13 days spread over a year, and without deficiency, but within the limit of two days per month.

Allies of environmentalists, the socialists called on Friday in a press release for “a convergence of all initiatives”, and for the creation of a “transpartisan working group”. “There are public health subjects for which we must go beyond the parties,” pleaded Ms. Keloua Hachi.

Each text has its specificities: the Socialist deputies propose a leave of 5 days in the event of miscarriage, and intend to force companies to introduce “material measures” for menstrual health.

Environmentalists want to enshrine in labor law the prohibition of any discrimination because of menstrual health, and require companies to organize “every three years” awareness actions. They intend to extend the professional equality index to gender inequalities.

At this stage everyone defends his version, and hopes to convince even in the presidential camp. Environmentalists call for a meeting with the government.

At the end of March, the city of Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) launched an experiment with menstrual leave for its agents.

On the government side, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne mentioned at the end of April the possibility of “facilitating” the menstrual leave arrangements already granted by certain companies. But MPs insist on going through the law.

If the left-wing groups could include their texts in their reserved days during the next ordinary session (end of 2023 or in 2024), they invite the presidential camp to support their actions. With the hope of having a bill examined during a “transpartisan” week, with several days of debate if necessary.

05/26/2023 21:23:27 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP