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12th May 2022

Spain set to offer three-day ‘menstrual leave’ for women every month

Trine Jensen-Burke

Who’s moving to Spain with us?

Those of us who suffer from period pains, know first-hand just how horrific these days can be to get through every month.

Which is exactly why we are applauding Spain right now, which is set to become the very first European country to approve a law granting ‘menstrual leave’ for women suffering period pain, set to be capped at three days per month.

According to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, the Spanish government is due to approve the measure as early as next week.

Spain is not the first country to unveil a plan like this, with countries such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Zambia all offer guaranteed menstrual leave. Still, the plan will make Spain the first European country to offer it, and will – hopefully – inspire other Western countries to do the same.

Angela Rodriguez, the secretary of state for equality, told El Periodico:

“If someone has an illness,” with severe symptoms also occurring with periods such as debilitating abdominal pain or headaches, “a temporary disability is granted. This means “the same should happen with menstruation — allowing a woman with a very painful period to stay at home.”

Combat period inequality

As well as the plan for menstrual leave, Spain is also set to put in place measures to combat inequality related to access to pads and tampons. In fact, the new law would make it a requirement for schools to offer sanitary pads, and provide free pads and tampons to marginalized women.

As well as the above measures, taxes will also be removed from pads and tampons in supermarkets.

“One in four women cannot choose the feminine hygiene products she wants to buy for economic reasons,” Rodriguez also told El Periodico.

“That’s why we propose for them to be dispensed free of charge in educational and social centers.”

In an even more progressive move, the Spanish government also plans to remove the current requirement for 16 and 17-year-olds seeking an abortion to ask parental permission.