Spain May Approve Workplace Menstrual Leave

May 11, 2022 — Spain is considering allowing women to take three days off from work per month if they experience severe menstrual pain, making it the first Western nation to offer such a benefit, The Telegraph reported.

Menstrual leave is currently offered nationally only in the Zambia, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia, The Telegraph said. In the United States, some companies provide menstrual leave.

About a third of women who menstruate suffer severe pain, the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society said, according to The Telegraph. Symptoms include acute abdominal pain, headaches, diarrhea, and fever

“If someone has an illness with such symptoms a temporary disability is granted, so the same should happen with menstruation – allowing a woman with a very painful period to stay at home,” Angela Rodriguez, the secretary of state for equality, told El Periodico newspaper recently.

The Telegraph said the change is scheduled to be voted on next week at a cabinet meeting.

The reform bill includes other measures affecting women’s health.

Schools will be required to provide sanitary pads for girls who need them, a value-added-tax will be removed from the sale price of tampons and sanitary pads in supermarkets, and parental permission will not be required for 16 and 17-year-olds seeking abortions, The Telegraph said.

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