Moscow Mayor's Candidate Wants to Give Ladies Off That Time Of the Month

Russia's lack of sex ed in public schools has caught up with them in an absurd draft law proposed on Monday.

Apparently still living in Biblical times, a nationalist deputy from Russia's State Duma proposed that women should be entitled to two days off every month during the "critical days" of menstruation.

"In this period, the majority of women experience psychological and physical discomfort," Moscow mayoral candidate Mikhail Degtyarev said in a statement. "Often the pain for the fair sex is so intense that they are forced to call an ambulance."

Having obviously never worked in a mixed-gender office or attended a sporting event, this father of two sons does not understand that menstruating women can go about daily life during a visit from Mother Nature.

Instead, Degtyarev has been spending time in Nepalese villages where women endure chaupadi, a Hindu tradition in which menstruating women and girls are isolated from society because they are deemed unclean. This may be the solution Degtyarev is searching for, considering that his bill suggests that menstruating women pose a threat not just to office productivity but to society at large.  

"Strong pain induces heightened fatigue, reduces memory and work-competence, and leads to colorful expressions of emotional discomfort," the bill states. "Therefore scientists and gynecologists look on difficult menstruation not only as a medical, but also a social problem."

Russia currently ranks 59th out of 135 countries on the Global Gender Gap Report issued annually by the World Economic Forum. At almost halfway down the list, Russia is joined by Estonia at 60th and Colombia at 63rd.

Despite Russia's lack of concern for the rights of women, Degtyarev's bill thankfully doesn't have much support.

The head of women's advocacy group Anna Center,Marina Pisklakova-Parker, declared the bill to be absurd.

"If we are seriously debating women's efficiency at work during menstruation, we should also consider how fit for work men are after a drinking bout," she said in true Russian form.

There may still be hope for the future of Russia's societal attitude towards women. Degtyarev is a candidate for the Moscow mayoral election in September, but according to a July 17th poll by the Levada Center, less than 1% of Muscovites intend to vote for him.

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Heather Hartlaub

Heather is a recent grad from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Middle Eastern History and Arabic. Raised around the world as a military brat, she loves foreign policy, kebseh, and crossword puzzles.

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