woman lying on the couch with period cramps
Getty Images | LaylaBird

Spain Set To Become First European Country To Give Menstrual Leave For Women

In 2022, it's hard to believe working women don't already have paid menstrual leave. However, welcome to the world, amirite? While every person with a period has a unique experience, some people really struggle with the duration of their menstruation and find it difficult to move from the bed, let alone work.

Now, Spain is set to become the first European country to offer women paid menstrual leave.

As reported by EuroNews, the Spanish government is set to endorse paid menstrual leave as part of a broader bill in regards to reproductive health and abortion rights.

woman having cramps lying on the bed
Unsplash | Jonathan Borba

The proposed law would introduce at least three paid sick days each month for women who suffer from dysmenorrhea. 

Symptoms of dysmenorrhea include severe cramps, headaches, diarrhea, and fever.

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Other countries that offer medical leave for menstruating women include Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, and Zambia.

Associate professor at the University of Sydney Elizabeth Hill told Euronews that if this Spanish bill should pass "it will set a new global standard, a gold standard."

However, there is some opposition.

woman cheersing menstrual cups
Unsplash | Monika Kozub

Deputy Secretary of leading Spanish trade union UGT, Cristina Antoñanzas, is speaking out against the bill to Euronews, claiming it could "stigmatize women" in the long run and might become another "handicap" in women finding a job.

"Because we all know that on many occasions we have been asked if we are going to be mothers, something that must not be asked and that men are not asked," she told the news outlet.

women passing a period pad to each other in a bathroom
Unsplash | Annika Gordon

"Will the next step be to ask us if we have period pains?"

Unfortunately, it seems like the situation is lose-lose depending on who you ask.

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Give women leave for their periods and they'll be stigmatized for taking it. Don't give women leave and they will suffer from an uncontrollable condition that could make it difficult for them to work.

Where is there a chance for women to thrive?

Personally, I think women should at least be given the option to take care of themselves and their bodies without being stigmatized for it.

h/t: Euronews