The Spanish government is set to pass a law offering three days of menstrual leave a month for workers suffering severe periods, according to several media reports.
The reform is part of a set of proposals around reproductive health and was first reported by Spanish radio station Cadena SER on Wednesday.
Other proposed measures include enabling girls aged 16 and 17 to have an abortion without having to get permission from their parents.
In addition, the bill is also proposing that educational institutions must provide feminine hygiene products when necessary. Women who are more likely to experience “menstrual poverty,” as well as those in prison, will also be given access to feminine hygiene products. The bill will also scrap a sales levy on these products.
The proposed legislation is set to be approved by the Spanish government next week and would make Spain the first Western nation to offer menstrual leave, according to other reports.
Japan, South Korea and Zambia are among the few countries already offering menstrual leave.
A study of nearly 43,000 women in the Netherlands, published in 2019, found that 85% suffered from painful periods, a condition also known as dysmenorrhea.
Discussing plans for the legislation in March, Angela Rodriguez, Spain’s secretary of state for equality and against gender violence, told Spain’s El Periodico that when the problem of severe period pain “cannot be solved medically, we believe that it is very sensible that there is a temporary disability associated with this issue.”