According to reports, Spain is considering implementing medical leave for women who suffer from severe period pain. Owing to the document leaked to media outlets, women could be granted three, extending to a potential five in some cases, days of paid leave per month.
With a doctor’s note, sick leave will be granted for difficult period-related ailments with the possibility to stretch to five days for exceptionally intense or incapacitating pain. It is believed that this will not concern those who go through milder pains.
If the proposed measure goes through, Spain could become the first Western country to allocate days off work each month for menstrual leave. Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, and Zambia are amongst some of the few countries that have such legislations in effect.
“When the problem cannot be solved medically, we think it is very sensible that there should be temporary incapacity associated with this issue,” Ángela Rodríguez, Spain’s Secretary of State for Equality and against Gender Violence, told El Periodico newspaper in a recent interview.
“It is important to clarify what a painful period is, we are not talking about a slight discomfort, but about serious symptoms such as diarrhea, severe headaches, fever,” she added.
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Reports from daily Spanish newspaper El Pais claim that these measures are part of a broader effort to treat menstruation as a health issue. This includes the elimination of the “tampon tax” on several hygiene goods and the provision of free sanitary items in public places.