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Menstrual leave at workplace: unique move by Spain towards women

by Rishika Choudhury

Read Time: 2 minute


• Spain set to become first western country to offer menstrual leave
• 3 days leave will be granted
• Pads and tampons are made free of cost

Spain is planning to introduce medical leave for women who suffer from severe period pain.

A very good initiative taken by Spain for women’s who suffers a lot during their period days. A draft bill says women could have three days leave a month which can be extended to 5 days in some circumstances.

But the politicians said that this draft was still being worked on. If the draft will passed, it would be the first such legal entitlement in Europe. Only a handful of countries like Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia offers menstrual leave. In the United Nation and India also some companies provide menstrual leave .

one- third of women suffer from severe pain

The Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society says that around one- third of women who menstruate suffer from severe pain which is known as Dysmenorrhea. Symptoms includes acute abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, and fever. Several women suffer from pre-menstrual pain too.

Free pads and tampons

Three day leave will be allowed with doctor's note, the days potentially extending to five on a temporary basis for a particularly intense or incapacitating pain. It is not applicable to those who suffer mild discomfort. Sanitary pads and tampons are made free of cost for women. A long- standing demand from Spanish women, the removal of VAT from the sale price of sanitary pads and tampons, is also likely to met.

Extended paid maternity leave and change in abortion laws

The draft also includes extended paid maternity leave before child birth and changes to abortion laws that include removing the requirement of aged 16 and 17 to have an abortion without the permission of their parents or guardians. It also eliminates a current three day cooling off period and a requirement for abortion services to be provided in the public healthcare system. The proposed law will also include tighter rules around surrogacy which is banned in Spain.


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