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Spain to allow three-day menstrual leave; schools to offer sanitary pads for free

By Tenzin Norzom
May 12, 2022, Updated on : Thu May 12 2022 13:43:45 GMT+0000
Spain also plans to include making period products tax-free, mandating schools to provide sanitary pads to girls in need, and offering pads and hygienic products to women in ‘marginalised social circumstances’ for free.
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Spain is set to become the first western country to offer three days right to menstrual leave to women every month, as the government is due to pass a slew of health measures at the cabinet meeting next week, as reported by Madrid-based Cadena Ser radio station.


The measures also include removing VAT on period products, mandating schools to provide sanitary pads to girls in need, and offering pads and hygienic products to women in ‘marginalised social circumstances’ for free.


Ángela Rodríguez, secretary of state for equality and gender violence, who first introduced the measures last month, said,

“One in four women cannot choose the feminine hygiene products they want to buy for financial reasons. That is why we propose that they can be dispensed free of charge in educational and social centers.”

With this development, Spain joins countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia that exercise period leave policies. The proposal also outlines changes to make abortion more accessible, including plans to remove parental permission for 16 and 17-year-olds seeking abortion.


Meanwhile, in the US, fundamental rights concerning women’s health is at risk as Republican senators voted for reversal of Roe v. Wade that constitutionally ensures women the freedom to choose for an abortion. US president Joe Biden, representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates voiced their concern regarding the decision.


While India does not have a period leave policy in place at a national level, a lesser known fact is that the Bihar government has introduced two days of period leave to women employees since 1992.


In a bid to create an inclusive culture at work, several startups and companies have also initiated period leave for its women and transgender employees. This includes startups like Culture Machine, BYJU'S, Zomato, Swiggy, FlyMyBiz, Horses Stable News, and Wet and Dry, among others.


Edited by Megha Reddy