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Spain could become the first Western country to offer paid menstrual leave

Spain is set to pass a new health measure that offers women who suffer severe period pain 3 days of paid leave per month.

Spain is about to become the first country in the Western world to make paid menstrual leave a right for people who struggle with severe period pain.

The reform is expected to be approved next week by Spain’s cabinet.

Spain’s secretary of state for equality, Angela Rodriguez, told the Spanish newspaper El Periodico: “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,”

While a few businesses in Australia have a similar policy, Spain would be the first Western country to adopt the move at a national level.

Other countries including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Zambia already grant women who menstruate monthly leave.

Along with this huge move, Spain’s policy is a part of a reform package that also includes schools being required to provide sanitary products, removing the value-added tax on sanitary products, pads and tampons would be provided for free to women in “marginalised social circumstances” and 16 and 17-year-olds would no longer need parental permission for an abortion.

One business in Australia that offers a similar menstrual leave policy spoke about what it would mean if Australia brought it on board as a right for women who bleed.

Future Super’s chief people officer Leigh Dunlop told SBS News: “A question I get often is if employers were made to provide this leave, is there a financial disincentive to then hire women because of the cost associated?”

“What we’ve seen is that the uptake is quite small, but the engagement and the goodwill, and just the sort of the energy that comes from our employees feeling supported, far outweighs the, to be frank, negligible cost of implementing this policy.”

Sounds bloody good to me, forgive the pun.