For some, it’s a belated recognition of the pain many women face without being too afraid to talk to their employers about it. For others, it’s a dangerous measure, linking women to disease and threatening to deepen inequality by discouraging women’s hiring.
After intense debate, including in the ruling left-wing coalition, the Spanish government approved a draft law on sexual and reproductive health and voluntary pregnancy termination in a council of ministers on Tuesday, May 17, including a new social right for women: Menstrual leave.
The measure will allow those suffering from menstruation “disabled” (severe pain, cramping, colic, nausea, etc.), get sick leave paid by the Department of Social Security after initial medical consultation. If in Asia, several countries such as Japan, South Korea or Indonesia already grant menstrual leave, Spain could be the first country in Europe to do so. “This is one of the most groundbreaking and defining issues of this coalition government, which is taking action to improve lives [des femmes] »welcomes the equality minister from the radical left party Podemos.
friction within the government
However, the draft law has caused friction within the government.When the draft prepared by the Equality Ministry was released to the press on Wednesday, May 11, socialist Nadia Calviño, executive vice-president and economy minister, warned that the government would not ‘Never take measures that stigmatize women’.
“The stigma is not being sensitive enough to understand that men and women are different and that the world of work is not neutral”, Communist Yolanda Diaz, the government’s second vice president and labor secretary, retorted. Opposition Leader and President of the People’s Party (PP, right) Alberto Nuñez-Feijoo involved: “The doctor gave [l’arrêt maladie]instead of the government’s second vice president, against the wishes of the first vice president”.
Prior to this, it was theoretically possible to ask a doctor for sick leave during menstrual cramps, but the employee would only be covered and paid from the fourth day of absence, provided that he had paid a cumulative 180 days of Social Security benefits over the past 5 days.
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