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Spain plans menstrual leave law for painful periods

Reuters Videos
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1 個月前

STORY: Spain could soon offer paid time off for women who have painful periods.

The country's leftist coalition government approved a draft bill on Tuesday (17 May) that would make it the first country in Europe to offer state-funded paid menstrual leave.

And will also aim to reinforce abortion rights by guaranteeing access to abortion across the country.

Those behind the proposed law hope it will help de-stigmatize menstrual health.

Irene Montero is the country's Equality Minister.

"Working in pain is over, taking pills before work and trying to hide that we are suffering incapacitating pain is over. Every woman who needs it will be able to make use of this temporary leave for painful, incapacitating menstrual periods."

The bill is already provoking a debate about whether the paid leave rule will hamper women more than help them in the workplace.

Claire Vandaele is a fitness instructor who suffers with endometriosis - symptoms of which can include incapacitating menstrual pain.

"The law is good because it recognizes that the problem exists but, unfortunately, we mustn't forget long, abundant and painful periods that are incapacitating are a symptom that there's something else that needs to be treated and cured, it could be endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, myomas, cancer, it could be any of these problems. So, it's not about normalizing it and saying, well if they have painful periods then take some time off and it will be over. No, because the following month it's the same and each time a woman's health worsens."

Others wonder how the legitimacy of claimants would be monitored:

"It's a bit relative, I think people will take leave without having those pains, so therefore it needs to be more controlled."

"No. All of that horrifies me. I don't think it's normal. A woman in an office could just say that and you couldn't tell."

The draft bill could take months to be approved.

It will go to a public hearing before another reading in the cabinet and a vote in the lower house of parliament.

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