Spain becomes the first European country to approve menstrual leave
Several women suffer from menstrual cramps and tremendous pain during periods and find it difficult to concentrate at their workplace which affects their productivity. On Thursday, in a historic move, Spain became the first European country to give approval to legislation granting paid menstrual leave to women suffering severe period pain. The bill was passed by 185 votes in favor to 154 against.
The law is aimed at breaking taboos on the subject
According to the Spanish government, this law is aimed at breaking the taboo on the subject. The bill approved by the Parliament is a part of sexual and reproductive rights. Ahead of the move, Equality Minister Irene Montero tweeted, "It is a historic day for feminist progress." The law will allow female workers to take some time off during their period days.
Women need to produce doctor's notes to use this law
The law allows for a three-day leave which can be extended to five days as well for those suffering intense pain during periods accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The person who wishes to use this particular law needs to get a temporary medical incapacity approved by a doctor following which the public security system will foot the bill.
This law can stigmatize women in the workplace: UGT
According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, about a third of women suffer severe pain during menstruation. However, UGT, one of Spain's largest trade unions has warned that this latest law can stigmatize women in the workplace and favor the recruitment of more men. The opposition conservative Popular Party said this menstrual leave could have "negative consequences in the labor market" for women.
Other countries that allow menstrual leaves
Menstrual leaves are currently allowed in countries like Zambia, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea. In Indonesia, women can take two-day menstrual leave per month which are not additional leaves. Zambia offers one-day leave while Taiwan offers three-day leaves. Japan approved this menstrual leave legislation in 1947. In South Korea, women employees get additional pay if they don't take menstrual leaves.
Is there any system of menstrual leave policy in India?
Currently, India has no law that offers menstrual leaves to women. However, some private companies like Zomato and Byju's offer menstrual leaves. Bihar is the only Indian state to offer government-approved period leaves for two days; the order was approved in 1992. Arunachal Pradesh's MP Ninong Ering introduced "The Menstruation Benefits Bill, 2017" in Parliament under which women can take two-day menstrual leave monthly.