The UK government has been urged from all sides to consider enacting legislation similar to that of Spain.
On February 16, the Spanish parliament approved paid sick time for women experiencing incapacitating periods, becoming the first nation in Europe to do so.
The Minister for Equality of Spain, Irene Montero called this decision momentous in terms of women’s health.
Rajana, an NHS nurse, lauded the legislation as a progressive step by the Spanish government and said that she is personally aware of how painful period cramps can be for a lot of women.
She noted that endometriosis, a disorder that caused extreme pain and cramps for those women during their menstrual cycle, is often left undiagnosed in a majority section of women in the UK and can take up to 8 years to be diagnosed.
“So, it would make a huge difference for those people who struggle with the pain and the government should essentially consider a period leave in the future,” she added.
The first to call for the establishment of a similar regulation in the UK was feminist campaigner Laura Coryton.
Ms. Coryton, 29, who promotes sex education and women’s rights, was successful in getting the government to remove its divisive 5% tax on period products as of January 1, 2021.
She stated that now that such a law is becoming more popular throughout Europe, the campaigner’s next objective would be to compel the government to enact it.
When asked about why the government would mostly try to evade addressing queries regarding it she said “politicians really need campaigners to put pressure on them because otherwise, they don’t do anything”.
“Campaigners are now focusing a lot on like tampon tax and period poverty the next step is going to be looking at menstrual leave,” she said.
She also said that the government’s existing provision of self-certification should be tweaked because as it does not specifically mention periods anywhere in the law.
“The problem is that a lot of employees do not consider periods as a health issue that could affect their productivity and it’s high time, they give it due importance,” she added.
She also dubbed the requirement of a doctor’s prescription for paid menstrual leave in Spain as a good part of the law, as it negates the misconception that women might take advantage of the law and disincentivize companies from hiring them.
It also encourages women to consult doctors about their endometriosis, as 75% of them who has the condition do not go to doctors due to the stigma. But with the law in place, it will encourage them to be more confident to solve the issue.
She also hailed the government for its new initiative that slashed the price of hormone replacement therapy for women in their menopause period.
“It is great that menopause is also getting wider acceptance because it also requires utmost care and diagnosis like menstrual period pain, she added”.