Period-havers, rejoice: Spain could soon offer three days of menstrual leave every month. Forget crawling into work armed with painkillers and chocolate, the scheme – which would be the first in Europe – would give you time to spend curled up in bed or on the sofa or anywhere the hell else you like. Kind of outrageous that it’s so rare, to be honest.
Painful periods are often minimised, because of, y’know, the patriarchy of it all. But the Spanish secretary of state for equality, Ángela Rodríguez, told the newspaper El Periódico that the bill was particularly important, as it would help those who suffer with especially nightmarish periods. ‘The rights related to menstrual health have never been discussed [in Spain]’, she said.
The changes come as the country also moves to reform its abortion laws, allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to terminate pregnancies without their parents’ permission. Meanwhile, VAT will soon be removed from supermarket sanitary products, and public funding for hormonal contraceptives and the morning-after pill will also be made available. Those laws and the menstrual leave proposal form part of wider sexual health bill that is due to go before the Spanish parliament next week.
The period leave policy might be the only one in Europe, but it’s already the norm in numerous Asian countries, including South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, which has had a law in place since 1947. Here’s hoping it’s rolled out more widely, eh?
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