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Spain To Become First Western Country To Legislate Menstrual Leave

Spain is about to become the first Western country to legislate menstrual leave.

The Spanish government will meet on Tuesday to discuss laws allowing women to take three days of menstrual leave a month.

Speaking to El Periodico, a Barcelona-based newspaper, Spain’s Secretary of State for equality and against gender violence, Ángela Rodríguez, explained the reasoning behind the leave laws.

“It is important to clarify what a painful period is, we are not talking about a slight discomfort, but about serious symptoms such as diarrhoea, severe headaches, fever,” she said.

“Symptoms that when there is a disease that entails them, a temporary disability is granted, therefore the same should happen with menstruation and that there is the possibility that if a woman has a very painful period, she can stay home.”

The legislation will join Spain’s plan to make sanitary pads and tampons tax-free and women in “marginalised social circumstances” to receive sanitary products at no cost.

Spain will join Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia as countries who grant menstrual leave.

In Australia, the ABC reported companies in Australia are taking the initiative and granting menstrual leave to employees.