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Spain to grant women leave for menstrual pain

Spain to grant women leave for menstrual pain 1

Spain is set to become the first European country to grant workers the right to paid menstrual leave.

In a proposal presented to parliament on Tuesday for debate by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, workers who suffer severe period pain can get three days of medical leave with two additional days permitted in some cases.

Payments for these leaves are to be financed by the state social security system and not employers.

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Equality Minister, Irene Montero, last Friday said with the proposal, it will no longer be okay to work in pain. She added that this would “end the stigma, shame and silence around periods”.

“There will be no more going to work with pain, no more taking pills before arriving at work and having to hide that on those days we are in pain”, she said.

The new laws also include steps to improve menstrual health with schools and prisons required to provide sanitary products for female students who need them.

Additionally, free pads and tampons will be provided for vulnerable women with Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions for the sale of the product in supermarkets.

The proposed laws have raised concerns with some saying such a move could discourage employers from hiring women.

Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Elizabeth Hill, told Euronews Next: “If it’s paid leave of three days a month, it will set a new global standard, a gold standard”.

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Although several countries in Asia – including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan offer similar leave, while it also exists in Zambia, Spain’s move will be the first in Europe.

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