The Spanish government is about to pass a law offering three days of menstrual leave per month to workers who suffer from severe menstrual pain, according to several media.
The reform is part of a package of proposals concerning reproductive health and was first reported by Spanish radio station Cadena SER on Wednesday.
Other proposed measures include the possibility for girls aged 16 and 17 to have abortions without having to obtain their parents’ permission.
Additionally, the bill also proposes that educational institutions provide feminine hygiene products when needed. Women who are more likely to experience “period poverty”, as well as those in prison, will also have access to feminine hygiene products. The bill will also remove a sales tax on these products.
The proposed legislation is expected to be approved by the Spanish government next week and would make Spain the first Western country to offer menstrual leave, according to other reports.
Japan, South Korea and Zambia are among the few countries that already offer menstrual leave.
A study of nearly 43,000 women in the Netherlands, published in 2019, found that 85% had painful periods, a condition also known as dysmenorrhea.
Discussing draft legislation in March, Angela Rodriguez, Spain’s secretary of state for equality and against gender-based violence, told Spanish El Periodico that when the problem of severe menstrual pain “cannot be solved medically, we think that it is very logical that there is a temporary incapacity associated with this problem.”
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