Spain becomes first country in Europe to approve 'Menstrual Leave'
Spain's parliament on Thursday approved a "menstrual leave" law for women with painful monthly bleeding, the first country in Europe to do so, Politico reported.
The law was passed with 185 votes in favor, 154 against and three abstentions.
The BBC notes that a doctor's note will be required to use the leave. The law gives the right to a three-day "menstrual" leave - with the possibility of extending it to five days - for women suffering from severe cramps, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting, Euronews writes.
The vote is a victory for Pedro Sánchez's Socialist government, which managed to overcome internal party divisions. Carmen Calvo, a Socialist lawmaker who was vice-president in Sánchez's previous cabinet, voted "abstained".
The bill was backed by a broad left-wing coalition including the Socialist Party, far-left Podemos and two parties supporting Catalan independence, while the conservative Popular Party and far-right Vox voted against the measure.
The law was also opposed by the UGT union, which expressed concerns that employers would prefer to hire men.
The measure is part of broader legislation easing access to abortion in public hospitals. Minors can now undergo the procedure without their parents' permission at the age of 16 and 17.
Free menstrual and contraceptive products will be distributed in high schools.
The Spanish Congress also finally adopted, after months of sometimes heated debate, a law allowing the free change of gender on identity documents from the age of 16.
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