A province in China has agreed to grant leave to women if they are suffering from acute menstrual cramps. According to government officials, Anhui Province in China set to grant women leave for menstrual cramps beginning this March.

The province will offer 1 to 2 days leave to the women suffering painful periods after presenting a doctor’s certificate, stated Mail Online. The rule was decided during 67th annual provincial government meeting which was held in January. Some other measures that were taken during the meeting were maternity leave and one hour a day breastfeeding leave for mothers with babies under one year of age.

In Shanxi and Hubei provinces, menstrual leave is already provided and the southern province of Guandong is also considering the idea.  However, there is no official declaration of it as of now.  As reported by Independent, a survey showed that 20 percent of the women are not willing to take these leaves as it may “cause delays in work”.

Lowina Tse, a gynecologist and a director of Hong Kong Women Doctors Association commented that legislations on period should be part of an effort for better labor health protection. She also noted that cramps should be treated as general health issue.

Tse said, “Some women may have menstrual cramps, and others may have other chronic conditions such as irritable bowels, migraines, or asthma attacks every now and then.”

She emphasized that most importantly getting a check up and treating the underlying condition should be the focus. However, quality health care is not accessible for all.

China is not the only country in Asia to offer leave during menstruation. Women in Japan are granted menstrual leave since 1947. In South Korea the trend started in 2001. In Taiwan menstrual leave is granted for one day every month since 2014. Indonesia also has the same system.

Recently, China has also introduced new guidelines to protect the children of migrant parents which showed the country’s concern over “left-behind” children’s protection. Menstruation leave is another positive step the country has taken for the well-being of the Chinese womon. At the same time, how the new legislation is going to help women is still under speculation. The take up in Hubei and Hainan provinces are very low and Hainan has not made the leave compulsory.