Spain Works on Instituting Menstrual Leave in New Law

The Spanish government is currently working on a new piece of legislation that could potentially allow women to go on leave for three days every month whenever they suffer from severe menstrual pain. This potentially ground-breaking legislative agenda could serve as a precedent for other governments around the continent to follow suit.

It’s also a huge step towards taking care of female workers in a predominantly patriarchal society. And while this new bill is still in the works, politicians have already come out to say that there are still a number of things to iron out.

Groundbreaking Legislation

If this bill passes into law, it will serve as the first legal entitlement of its time in Europe. There are already a few countries around the world that practice this legislation in some shape or form, but none of them are in Europe.

There is also a greater agenda at play here with regards to Spanish legislation for reproductive health reform in the country. Various moves are at play in amending the country’s abortion laws as well.

According to reports, while the bill is still in the works, it’s due to be presented to the government’s cabinet within the week. The current bill states that three-day sick leaves will be allotted to female workers as long as they are able to secure a proper doctor’s note.

These leaves can also be extended to as many as five days in some instances. However, the leaves don’t apply to those who are only suffering from a mild discomfort during their menstrual periods.

Proponents of the bill claim that the measure is targeted towards legitimizing menstruation as an actual health condition. There are also female-centric reforms in the works such as the abolishing of the “tampon tax.”

This is a current commercial practice wherein female-oriented hygiene products are made more expensive when compared to male counterparts. Free hygiene products are also planned to be made available at various public institutions like schools and prisons.

Furthering Women’s Rights

As mentioned, the bill that allows for menstrual leaves is tied to an ongoing movement to reform abortion laws in the country, and this is where most of the controversy lies. The bill is seeking to remove the requirement of girls aged 16 and 17 to undergo an abortion without the permission of their parents or registered guardians.

This was a measure that was introduced back in 2015, but the Catholic movement in the country is still largely adamant in its position against the law and any abortion reforms.

At the end of the day, there’s still a lot of work to be done concerning pushing for the bill to be turned into law, but many are hopeful that things will progress reasonably well.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think of the menstrual leave law? Should this law have been passed a long time ago, and should other countries be following suit as well? Comment what you think the potential advantages and disadvantages are down below.

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