In Spain, a bill was unveiled on Thursday stipulating, among other things, that women with serious menstrual disorders should be able to take three to five days’ leave. This law will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday, but uncertainties remain as to its implementation.
According to Spanish media, the bill states that women should be entitled to three days off per week, if they have serious complaints. The leave can be up to five days.
The measures would apply to women who suffer from dysmenorrhea, a period so painful that a woman cannot take part in normal activities. It is especially young women aged 16 to 24 who suffer from it: 60 to 80% of them have painful periods.
Spanish politicians point out that this is a bill and will be worked on in the next few days. For example, it is not yet clear who will belong to the group of rights holders. Some politicians also worry that the furlough could further discriminate against women in the labor market, writes The Periodical† It is also unclear whether this is paid or unpaid leave.
The same bill also talks about abolishing the tax on menstrual products and allowing abortion from the age of 16 without the authorization of parents or guardians.
The municipality of Girona has already introduced leave for civil servants
In recent decades there has been an increasing focus on women’s rights in Spain, led by the leftist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. The introduction of menstrual leave has also been discussed for some time. For example, the municipality of Girona, in the north of the country, has already introduced leave for civil servants. They still had to make up for those hours not worked.
If the Spanish parliament approves the final law on Tuesday, it means Spain will be the first European country to introduce menstrual leave. Menstrual leave has already been legally established around the world. For example, a number of Asian countries, such as Indonesia and South Korea, have official menstrual holidays.