As we're continually told one of the great afflictions of our civilisation is the manner in which men and women - in general and on average - earn different amounts. Our continued insistence that this is about the manner in which - in general and on average - men and women seem to make different choices about how to earn money seems to cut little mustard.
This though would be a great way of increasing the problem being complained about:
Perhaps legalised time off is a solution. Legislation offering menstrual leave exists already. Women in Japan, Korea and a few other countries are allowed to request days off work, something that one academic called “an unusual institutionalised practice”. It sounds like a good idea. When Italy tried to bring in similar legislation last year, it didn’t pass, and critics came up with the usual objections: Italian women are already stigmatised for their biology, with some employers forcing them to sign undated resignation letters in case they become pregnant. Other objections: menstrual leave sends the message that menstruation is a disease or an affliction. It is sexism, or stigmatisation. It may lead to the women who seek menstrual leave being paid less...
There's no may about it.
Now it is true that most of us around here are men and of an age kindly called rich in maturity. Which means we have seen some of that world out there. It's not so much the menses as the pre- at issue here. So, let us be kindly and suggest two days as this menstrual leave.
So, what is the effect upon annual wages of an extra 26 days (no, lunar months here) off, or at least potentially so, each year? Note that's rather more than 10% of the usual quota of working days in a year. Pay of those gaining such time will be higher or lower than that of those who don't on that annual basis?
Quite, if you actually wanted to increase the gender pay gap you'd find it hard to come up with a better plan, wouldn't you?