Plan to Grant Paid Leave for Period Pain Stirs Tensions in Spain

By Clara Hernanz Lizarraga and Macarena Munoz Montijano

17 May 2022 · 2 min read

Spain is poised to become the first European country to grant workers the right to “menstrual leave,” a proposal that’s sharpening political divisions in the country over the push to improve women’s rights. A draft law presented by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s government on Tuesday would allow those suffering from severe period pains to take paid time off each month, under medical supervision. Following cabinet approval the plan, it now goes to parliament and the Senate for approval.

The measure was put forward by Minister of Equality Irene Montero, from Podemos, Sanchez’s far-left junior coalition partner, as part of a drive to promote women’s health. The policy includes a requirement for schools and prisons to offer sanitary pads to people who need them and gives girls aged 16 years and older the right to seek an abortion without parental consent.

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