SPAIN might be the first Western country to offer women suffering from severe menstruation discomfort three days of paid leave every month.
The reform, which is part of a larger draught bill on reproductive health and abortion rights, is expected to be approved at the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday — but government sources told Spanish outlet El Pas, that the draught is "not definite" and subject to change.
Other steps to enhance menstruation health included in the plan include mandating schools to offer sanitary pads to girls in need and eliminating taxes on the price of sanitary pads in supermarkets.
Spain's left-wing administration plans to make abortion free in the country's public health care system and enable 16- and 17-year-olds to have the surgery without parental approval as part of the same reform package.
The proposed measures follow the announcement in March by Secretary of State for Equality and Gender Violence Ángela Rodríguez of additional measures to assist menstrual and reproductive health, including medical leave for women recuperating from abortions.
"We no longer want menstruation to be a taboo issue," Rodriguez told CBS News. "If someone has a sickness with terrible symptoms, they are permitted temporary sick leave; similarly, a lady with a really painful period should be entitled to stay at home."
Some menstruating women experience dysmenorrhea, a strong discomfort that can be debilitating.
According to El Pais, the draught measure would incorporate menstrual health within the right to health of Spanish women, and it would battle "stereotypes and myths about menstruation that persist and impede women's lives."
"It goes without saying that we should not normalise functioning while in discomfort. Nonetheless, women have spent years doing so. Time off for menstrual cramps should be a legal entitlement." Rodriguez explained. "It is critical to define a difficult era. We're not talking about a little ailment here, but potentially major symptoms like diarrhoea, terrible headaches, and fever."
Rodrguez went on to say that she wants Spain to be a pioneer in the development of the male contraceptive pill, which might begin human trials shortly.