93% of Hong Kong women who have suffered from period pain say it has affected their ability to work

93% of Hong Kong women who have suffered from period pain say it has affected their ability to work

YouGov research reveals just 32% 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 76% of women in Hong Kong say they have ever had period pain, and among those women who have had period pains and have worked, 93% say that period pain has affected their ability to work.

Yet only around a third (32%) of women in Hong Kong whose performance has been affected by period pain have ever admitted to their employer that this was the case. A third (33%) told their employer that troubles caused by period pain were down to some other reason, while 34% 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 (58%) find that period pain affects their ability to work by making it harder to concentrate. Four in ten (36%) have had to take a short break because of the pain, and half (50%) have either had to go home early (25%) or take a day off (23%) 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). 87% of Hong Kong 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: (Hong Kong n = 647)