Spain’s socialist government will become the first country in Europe to offer women monthly work leave for menstruation.
As part of upcoming abortion legislation spearheaded by the socialist government’s Equality Minister, far-left parliamentarian Irene Montero, women will be able to take three paid days off a month from work if they experience pain associated with menstruation.
The bill says this could be extended up to five days off work for those women suffering from severe symptoms such as severe pain, cramps, nausea, dizziness or vomiting, the The Pias the newspaper reported.
The abortion legislation, which will make it legal for 16-year-olds to abort without parental consent, will also seek to eliminate the 10 percent tax on feminine hygiene products and provide women with free contraceptives such as the morning-after pill. and long-term hormonal contraceptives. Schools and prisons would also be required to provide women with free menstrual products.
Currently, only a handful of countries, including Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Zambia, offer women paid menstrual leave from work.
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Justifying the measure, the Secretary of State for Equality and against Gender Violence of Spain, Ángela Rodríguez, told the The newspaper newspaper: “When the problem cannot be solved medically, it seems very sensible to us that there is a temporary disability associated with this issue”.
The measure, which has not been ratified by the Spanish parliament, has sparked a debate in the country about whether it stigmatized women in the workplace.
The deputy general secretary of the General Union of Workers, Cristina Antoñanzas argued that giving women extra time for menstruation “will return the focus to women on an issue that differentiates us from men” and therefore could prevent some women from obtaining employment.
Others, including the director of gynecology at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Elisa Llurba, argued that it is “necessary” that some women be offered free time.
“In the end, it is a disease like any other. If you have moments when you are worse, you have the right to leave if the pain makes it impossible for you to work. The problem is that it has always been thought that it is a pain that you have to go through and you have to endure because it is a woman’s pain, ”she said.
The legislation is expected to be presented to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday.
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