News & Current Affairs
Menstrual Leave For Women Is Officially Legal In Spain
A new sexual and reproductive health law in Spain went into force on Thursday, guaranteeing women the right to take time off work during their periods.
The progressive government proposed the "Gender Equality bill" in February, and parliament ratified it with some revisions since then.
This also makes Spain the first European country to enact such a law. Women can now legally take menstruation leave with just a doctor's note. In theory, the period of time off is not limited in any way. The severity and duration of menstruation discomfort are considered while determining the length of leave allowed by law.
Furthermore, the costs are borne by the government.
The bill also increases access to publicly funded contraception and decriminalises abortion for minors aged 16 and 17.
Minister for equality, Irene Montero, has stated that menstrual health is protected by law as part of the right to gender equality in the country.
"Having time to take care of yourself is now important," she said.
“From today you already have the right to leave work for painful menstruation, for voluntary termination of pregnancy and for the last weeks of gestation that we approved with the new law on abortion, sexual and reproductive health and sexual education,” the minister tweeted.
“If you need to request any of these cancellations, you just have to contact your doctor or GP as soon as possible."
“Women’s health, bodies and time matter. No more making the rule invisible, working with pills, dying of pain pretending nothing is wrong," she added.
Globally, only a handful of nations, such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, and Zambia, provide paid menstrual leave to their female employees.