The Spanish government is set to pass a law offering three days of menstrual leave a month for workers who experience severe period pain.
It is part of a wider approach to treating menstruation as a health condition, which also includes the abolishing of VAT on some hygiene products – the so-called “tampon tax” – and free hygiene products being made available at public centres such as schools and prisons
In addition, the bill is also proposing that educational institutions must provide feminine hygiene products when necessary.
Women who are more likely to experience “menstrual poverty,” as well as those in prison, will also be given access to feminine hygiene products. The bill will also scrap a sales levy on these products.
The proposed legislation is set to be approved by the Spanish government next week and would make Spain the first Western nation to offer menstrual leave, according to other reports.
Three-day sick leave for painful periods will be allowed with a doctor’s note, the draft says, potentially extending to five on a temporary basis for particularly intense or incapacitating pain but it is not expected to apply to those who suffer mild discomfort.
If passed, it would be the first such legal entitlement in Europe.
Japan, South Korea, and Zambia are among the few countries already offering menstrual leave.
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