YouGov research reveals just 46% of those whose work has been affected have told their employer
Mumbai-based company Culture Machine hit the headlines recently by offering female employees the opportunity to take the first day of their periods off.
As many as 86% of women in Malaysia say they have ever had period pain, and among those women who have had period pains and have worked, 81% say that period pain has affected their ability to work.
Yet less than half (46%) of Malaysian women whose performance has been affected by period pain have ever admitted to their employer that this was the case. A fifth (23%) told their employer that troubles caused by period pain were down to some other reason, while 32% said neither of these (a large proportion of this group may well not let on about feeling unwell to their employer in the first place).
In what ways do women find it harder to work because of period pain?
Over half (53%) find that period pain affects their ability to work by making it harder to concentrate. Around a third (32%) have had to take a short break because of the pain, and four in ten (42%) have either had to go home early (18%) or take a day off (22%) because of the pain.
Society has been slow to recognise that period pain can be a significant issue for working women, although attitudes do seem to be changing. Aside from the actions of Culture Machine, countries including South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan have laws in place allowing women time off work when they are menstruating (although Taiwan’s three days off a year for menstrual cramps is the most generous). 81% of Malaysian women support similar measures being introduced.
*Data was collected online between 25 August and 7 September 2017 using YouGov’s panel of over 5 million people worldwide. It was weighted to be representative of the online population. Sample size: (Malaysia n = 1,303)