Spain's leftist government introduced a bill on Tuesday creating "
" for women with painful periods, a first in Europe.
We are going to be the first country in Europe to introduce temporary sick leave fully funded by the state for painful and disabling menstruation
”, welcomed the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, at the end of the Council. ministers.
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Periods will no longer be taboo (..) It's over to go to work with pain, to have to stuff ourselves with tablets before going to work or to have to hide our pain
", added the minister, one of the leaders of the radical left party Podemos, partner of the socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in a coalition government claiming her feminism.
The Minister had indicated earlier on public television that this sick leave, which will have to be signed by the attending physician, "
would not have a time limit
" while a preliminary version of the project released last week by the media evoked a three-day leave, which can be extended to five in the event of acute symptoms.
This text, which has sparked debate within the executive and the unions, will have to be approved by Parliament where the government is a minority, before coming into force.
If the executive gets the green light from MEPs, Spain will become the first country in Europe and one of the few in the world to include this measure in its legislation, like Japan, Indonesia or Zambia for example.
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" is one of the flagship measures of a broader bill that also plans to strengthen access to abortion in public hospitals, which perform less than 15% of abortions in the country due to massive conscientious objection from physicians.
It must also allow minors to abort without the authorization of their parents at 16 and 17 years old by reversing an obligation introduced by a previous Conservative government in 2015.
Abortion was decriminalized in Spain in 1985 then legalized in 2010, but abortion remains a right fraught with pitfalls in this country with a strong Catholic tradition where anti-abortion movements are very active.
The government text also provides for a strengthening of sex education in schools as well as the free distribution of morning after pills in health centers and contraceptives in high schools.