The Spanish government is going to pass a law providing three days of menstrual leave per month for workers who suffer from severe menstrual pain, according to several media reports.
The reform is part of a series of reproductive health proposals and was first reported on Wednesday by Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
Other proposed measures include making it possible for girls aged 16 and 17 to have abortions without parental consent.
In addition, the bill also proposes that educational institutions should provide feminine hygiene products when needed. Women who are more likely to experience “menstrual poverty”, as well as women in prison, will also have access to feminine hygiene products. The bill also removes a sales tax on these products.
The proposed legislation will be approved by the Spanish government next week and, according to other reports, would make Spain the first Western country to offer menstrual leave.
Japan, South Korea and Zambia are among the few countries that already offer menstrual leave.
A survey of nearly 43,000 women in the Netherlands, published in 2019, found that 85% had painful periods, a condition known as dysmenorrhea.
While discussing plans for the legislation in March, Angela Rodriguez, Spain’s Secretary of State for Equality and Against Gender Violence, told Spain’s El Periodico that when the problem of severe menstrual pain “cannot be solved medically, we believe it is very sensible that there is a temporary disability associated with this problem.”
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