Women who suffer from severe period pain will be allowed to take leave from work for up to three days each month under a reform plan due to be approved by Spain’s government next week.
The draft reform, revealed by the Cadena Ser radio station, will make Spain the first Western country to offer the right to menstrual leave, under which women would be guaranteed time off during their periods.
Currently, only some Asian countries including Japan, South Korea and Indonesia, as well as Zambia, grant menstrual leave.
According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, around one-third of women who menstruate suffer from severe pain known as dysmenorrhea, with that proportion rising if pre-menstrual pain is also counted. Dysmenorrhea symptoms include acute abdominal pain, headaches, diarrhoea and fever.
“If someone has an illness with such symptoms a temporary disability is granted, so the same should happen with menstruation – allowing a woman with a very painful period to stay at home,” Angela Rodriguez, the secretary of state for equality, told El Periodico newspaper.