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Paid menstrual leave for women - Spain government

The government of Spain is processing a law which is set to allow women a menstrual leave from work. This law will remodel the country's current decree on women's rights from the menstrual leave to abortion amendment.

Menstrual leave for women, especially those who suffer from severe pain

Redefining this law is going to give women over the age of 16 liberty to have an abortion without first seeking permission from guardians. It institutes varied measures to establish women's reproductive and sexual health a matter of public health.

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Women are to receive three days of menstrual leave a month. For those who experience excruciating period pain, the leave duration will go up to five days.

Pads and tampons are to be provided cost free to schools, education institutions and marginalised women. The new policy will also remove the Value Added Tax from pad and tampon sales at supermarkets.

This law makes Spain the first country in Europe to offer state-funded paid leave for women who suffer from painful menstrual cycles.

Today, we send an international message of support to all women who are fighting for their sexual and reproductive rights. We must guarantee that it is the women who decide what happens to their own bodies,” Equality Minister Irene Montero told reporters.

It also includes paid leave for pregnant women from week 39 and guarantees the distribution of free menstrual products in public institutions such as schools and health centres.

The draft law also states that surrogate pregnancy, which is illegal in Spain, is a form of violence against women.

In response to the new law, a gynecologist in Madrid, Hortensia Garcia said “I really don’t understand why we need this new law when there are now so many options available for most women to avoid suffering the kind of debilitating pain that could make it impossible for them to work."

I think that the feminist movement in this country has been pushing things to the extreme and out of context, which is not actually helpful to women,” she added. “I believe that the aim should be precisely to demystify a woman’s period as something that needs to be painful, and make it clear instead that gynecology has already designed many products to make it comfortable,” Garcia added

Japan was the first country to give women menstrual leave in 1947 but practicing the law has been a challenge due to mounting social pressures.

Italy discussed the law back in 2017 but the parliament eventually rejected it.

Officials hope that the law take effect before next year when the country goes into national elections.

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