After Spain approved a draft bill approving time off work for period pains, charities are calling for menstruation leave in the UK as well.
What Did Spain Do?
Last week, it was announced that the Spanish government had drafted a new abortion law and would make contraception free. This new law would mean that women from the age of 16 could have an abortion without parental permission. Though this is a huge step for Spain, it completely contrasts the current women’s healthcare climate in America.
As well as rules around abortion, the reform will implement a menstrual leave for those suffering badly from period pains. It will require a doctor’s note, and is only for ‘serious symptoms like diarrhoea, fever and bad headaches,’ an equality spokesperson has said. The legislation would be a first for Europe, whilst other countries such as Japan, Zambia, South Korea and Indonesia already have similar laws.
Menstrual Leave In The Uk?
A spokesperson from BloodyGoodPeriod told the BBC: ‘We need to understand the experiences and challenges of those who menstruate face in the workplace, and then take steps to support them.’
Whilst typical symptoms include cramping, headaches, fatigue and more, conditions such as endometriosis exacerbate these. BloodyGoodPeriod wrote on their Instagram that ‘six out of ten people have a negative experience with their periods’.
It asks the question: If Spain is considering this legislation, what is stopping the UK from doing the same thing?
Emma Cox from Endometriosis UK agrees, saying ‘We need to challenge the squeamishness and silence around menstrual health.’