Beware the Ides of March (march 15th) the soothsayer said to Julius Caesar. He was murdered that day. Unwittingly we chose March 15 for our Period Policy event with CoExist—a different kind of blood spilt this time all over the world media—but serving life for a change. We had an amazing day. A packed room of about 100 people, mostly women of course, onside and critical in useful ways. Alexandra presented the new model of the menstrual cycle as the life enhancing, empowering practice it is, how it could serve workplaces for women to be cycle savvy, and then gave examples of organisations that do have policy already such as Treesisters, Babes in the Wood and Earthheart Centre.
The conversation was then opened up to the whole room. In the afternoon there was a closed session to nut out the policy itself. We came away with lots of key points which CoExist later crafted into a pilot policy which they are going to trial. We hope to check in with them in 6 months time to hear how it goes. We have also had other organisations contact us wanting to learn more.
If you are an organisation interested in creating a period policy please contact our Period Policy Officer Pam McCarthyHere are a few of our favourite articles about the Pioneering Period Policy eventCoExist Reflecting on the Period Policy
'Emotional, educational and highly empowering; Alexandra Pope’s half-day seminar outlining the numerous benefits and implications of menstrual awareness has now been and gone. After an at times contentious reaction from the media in it’s lead up, the seminar itself exuded a resounding feeling of hope and optimism in revaluing the menstrual cycle as an asset and not a liability.' Read moreHow One British Company Is Trying to Make Paid Period Leave Work
Last year, Coexist manager Bex Baxter noticed a female employee in pain. Working at the reception desk of the British non-profit organization, the employee could barely stand, let alone perform a public-facing job. Unsurprisingly, Baxter urged her to go home and rest. "It was a completely ordinary thought," she explains. "A human rights thought. Initially, they didn't feel able to take the time off and for me as a manager, if someone is in pain, they're entitled to paid leave. I never expected it to blow up like this." Read MoreWe Asked an Economist What Would Happen If All Women Took 'Period Leave'
Dr Lee: I'm originally from South Korea , where women have a right to have a day off per month if the pain of their period becomes unbearable. It makes a lot of sense there because they have a strict working environment. People work long hours – it's not uncommon to do 12-hour days and traditionally many companies also ask that you work some Saturdays until midday. People need to be totally present in their jobs.' Read more