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A bill that grants paid medical leave for women who suffer from severe period pain has been approved by Spain’s cabinet.

Very few countries in the world offer menstrual leave, among them Indonesia and South Korea.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made it clear during his campaign that women’s rights are a priority. Although the bill has been approved, it might still take months for the Spanish parliament to approve the proposed legislation.

The bill might be better news for the private sector than for the Spanish government because it proposes that the state social security system will pick up the tab for sick leave and not employers.

Although women will be allowed to take the leave for as long as they need it, there are some restrictions. One of them is that similar to paid leave for other health reasons, this temporary medical incapacity must be approved by a doctor.

After the cabinet approved the bill, Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero the new law will give a voice to those who have been suffering in silence.

“Periods will no longer be taboo. We will be the first country in Europe to introduce a temporary sick leave that is fully financed by the state for painful and incapacitating periods.”

“No more going to work with pain, no more taking pills before arriving at work and having to hide the fact that we’re in pain that makes us unable to work.”

RTE reports that a third of women who menstruate suffer from severe pain, according to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society.

Image credit: Sky News

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