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Spanish Law On Paid Menstrual Leave

Spanish law on paid menstrual leave: Is it a step in the Right Direction?

Spanish law on menstrual leave is a baby step towards making the earth a more equitable planet where gender is not an obstacle to your success. But at the same time, it is challenging to defend such a law without stigmatizing workers who opt for its benefit.

The law on paid menstrual leave was passed by Spanish lawmakers (left-wing coalition government ) on 16th February 2023, making Spain the first European country to take such a progressive step for the health of women workers. Spain's equality minister IRENE MONTERA marked it "a historic day for feminist progress," She said, "The law will add a new dimension to the workplace and females will not have to hide their unbearable pain ".

Paid menstrual leave law is a chunk of a broader law passed in MADRID. Other laws made it easier for trans to change their gender on national ID cards and also allowed abortion above the age of 16 in any government hospital without the permission of guardians. The law faced criticism followed by a heated debate on paid menstrual leave law. But the law came into force and hope it gets implemented as promised.

Equality minister of Spain: Irene Montera

The one question that struck most of our minds is whether the law passed is actually beneficial or will vilify women workers? In my opinion, it is the stepping stone that will help to normalize the most awkward topic among colleagues i.e. periods. The paid menstrual leave law is already being practiced in a handful of countries including Japan, Indonesia, and the African country Zambia. Many private countries offer this leave as their company's policy, but still, it is undercover.

What Is The Law?

The paid menstrual leave law states that any employee experiencing a painful period can opt for a three-day paid leave which could extend to a five-day leave too. A ratified approved doctor's note is mandatory. The paid leave will be granted to the employees who experience painful periods with

symptoms like acute cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, abdomen, and back pain. In medical terms, the condition is known as Dysmenorrhea. According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, one-third of the world's females suffer from Dysmenorrhea and the pain can even equate to the pain during a heart attack. The irony is that we women didn't pay heed to it and endured the pain with a smile on our faces and pills in our bags. The intelligible aim of the law is to provide the much-needed pause that menstruating employees require to rejuvenate.

Challenges that the law will face:
Believe it or not, the world we live in still follows patriarchy. The pain that females suffered over years and years ago went unnoticeable. The bold steps now countries are taking are plausible. However, we know change takes its own time. And I think this change is for a better world ahead. Yet the other co-workers will definitely get affected by this new law.

The condition of the women after the law is implemented is not going to be fair initially because their male co-workers need some time to accept women and their health-related issues. Women can be a fragile target for criticism and could be blamed for playing the women's card.

The companies could resist employing women workers can be a challenge too. However, this will happen only till their co-workers understand them well. Hoping, they gradually accept each other and lay the foundation of an equitable world.

The law may seem like an uphill battle, but it could be a golden opportunity for humans to understand another different human as their natural self by normalizing a natural process, like periods. Spain is actually winning hearts by passing such a law. Female citizens of other countries are pinning their hopes on their leaders to move ahead and take such progressive steps too.

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