• The draft law would also lower VAT on feminine hygiene products
• The health bill would also guarantee the right to seek an abortion for free
Spain is planning to introduce three days of menstrual leave for women, according to the country's local media.
The reports suggest the Spanish government is set to pass a law offering three days of menstrual leave a month for workers suffering severe periods.
This will form part of a set of proposals around reproductive health and was first reported by Spanish radio station Cadena SER on Wednesday.
The Spanish government is expected to approve the measure as part of a broader draft bill on reproductive health and abortion rights, details of which are expected to be disclosed on Tuesday, according to national media.
The proposed law would introduce at least three sick days each month for women who suffer from severe period pains, according to El Pais newspaper.
The newspaper reports that this "medically supervised leave" could even be extended to five days for women with disabling periods who suffer severe cramps, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Worldwide, menstrual leave is currently offered only in a small number of countries including Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Zambia.
According to the Spanish Gynaecology and Obstetrics Society, around a third of women who menstruate suffer from severe pain known as dysmenorrhea.
Symptoms include acute abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches and fever.
"When the problem cannot be solved medically, we think it is very sensible that there should be temporary incapacity associated with this issue," Ángela Rodríguez, Spain’s Secretary of State for Equality and against Gender Violence, told El Periodico newspaper in a recent interview.
"It is important to clarify what a painful period is, we are not talking about a slight discomfort, but about serious symptoms such as diarrhoea, severe headaches, fever," she added.
The three days of menstrual leave will be allowed with a doctor's note, according to El Pais newspaper. It may be extended to five days on a temporary basis in cases of severe cramps, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. However, the leaves are not expected to apply to those who suffer mild pains.