Spain has become the first European country to enact a law allowing women with painful periods paid “menstrual leave” of absence from work.
The bill, approved by Parliament on Thursday is part of a broader package on sexual and reproductive rights that includes allowing anyone 16 and over to get an abortion or change the gender on their ID card.
The law gives the right to a three-day “menstrual” leave of absence – with the possibility of extending it to five days – for those with disabling periods, which can cause severe cramps, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting.
The leave requires a doctor’s note, and the public social security system will foot the bill.
The law states that the new policy will help combat the stereotypes and myths that still surround periods and hinder women’s lives.