Menstruation tends to play tricks on some women who once a month are limited in their daily activity due to the discomfort they suffer. Aware of this circumstance, a week ago, the Girona City Council approved a pioneering proposal in our country to reconcile the right to health and well-being at work and that allows their workers to have a menstrual leave of 8 hours a month if they feel discomfort due to their period.
The initiative – approved unanimously by the General Negotiation Table of the City Council and that will have to ratify the plenary session in June– proposes to have a menstrual leave of 8 hours per month and what can recover within a maximum period of three months. In this way, it is tried that these affected women do not have to use their vacation days because they are unwell due to menstruation.
But, what opinion do Spanish women have about it in general? According to the 1st survey on Menstruation and Work Environment prepared by Intimina, 67% of women are in favor of the legal regulation of menstrual loss, although 75% consider that this right would be a double-edged sword, becoming a reason for discrimination at work. The lawyer Delia Rodríguez, managing partner of Vestalia Abogados de Familia, assures ABC that the measure, a priori, “will protect the rights of women, who will be able to benefit from this type of flexible working day without exposing themselves to subsequent reprisals by the company . That the recovery of the eight hours of this menstrual leave is contemplated in a maximum of three months allows professional women to benefit without it becoming a double-edged sword and because of discrimination because companies decide to hire fewer women. .
In addition, the survey indicates that the 69% of Spanish women believe that pains associated with the menstrual cycle are stigmatized in the work environment. The data in the report clarify that the pain of the period is a reality that 6 out of 10 women frequently experience, and that usually has associated symptoms such as muscle or joint pain, migraines and weakness or fatigue. Despite this, only 26% have missed their job when they have had menstrual ailments. It also stands out that 88% of those women who consider these pains as disabling and frequent have gone to work suffering pain during their menstruation.
Has working with these pains been normalized?
According to the results of the study, for 71% of those surveyed it is a normalized situation in our society. However, when asking if they have needed to shorten their working hours due to suffering from this type of ailments 41% of Spanish women have not been able to do so or they have done it with negative consequences, while 42% consider that the intensity of the pain has not made it necessary and 17% have been able to leave before work without problems.
The menstrual leave would consist of a work permit for those working women who suffer disabling pain during menstruation. Currently, countries like Japan, South Korea or Indonesia They have a legal leave for menstruation, and in Europe, only Italy put the debate on the table in 2017.
Taking into account that the lowest data is situated at 50%, the Extremadura (90%) followed by the Galician (78.5%) and the Canary Islands (73%) are the ones that would most support the legal regulation of this medical leave.
While by age groups, those who show a higher percentage when supporting this option are lwomen between 26 and 35 years old and women between 46 and 55 years old, with 72% in both cases.
Curiously, the age group that offers the most support for the regulation of the decline, the 26 to 35 years, is also the one that believes that this right could become a weapon of discrimination.
And what do men say about it?
According to the results of the survey, more than half (51.5%) would be in favor of its regulation and 48% know someone who would use this right. However, and as is the case with women, 55% of men consider this resource to be a potential element of discrimination.