A revolutionary new bill
A new law is being drafted that could allow women in Spain who suffer from severe menstrual pain to take up to three days off work each month.
This would mean that those women who suffer from dysmenorrhea (severe period pain) regularly would be able to take sick leave every month with a doctor’s note. It’s not thought to apply to those who have mild discomfort.
According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, around a third of women who menstruate suffer from dysmenorrhea.
The Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez, told El Periodico newspaper: ‘If someone has an illness with such symptoms a temporary disability is granted, so the same should happen with menstruation.’
There are a few similar bills already in place in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, but this would be a first for Europe.
The draft bill was leaked to Spanish media outlets that revealed the discussions will take place at the beginning of next week.
According to El Pais, another one of Spain’s biggest newspapers, this is part of a wider discussion by the Spanish government around reproductive health.
Alongside this new law, it is thought that VAT will be removed from certain sanitary products (aka the tampon tax), sanitary towels and tampons will be supplied free by schools and prisons to females that need them, and public funding for contraceptives and the morning-after pill.
The bill also includes reform to the current abortion law, which will allow girls as young as 16 will be able to have a termination without parental permission.
However, it’s not all positive news. Surrogacy, which is currently illegal in Spain is also on the agenda and it is thought that the government will discuss bringing in a new law that would prosecute couples who go abroad to use a surrogate.
The Spanish people will have to wait until next week to hear the outcome.