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Spain will allow women suffering from menstrual pains to take days off work, a proposed law that will make the country the first in Europe to entitle female workers to such leave, Sky News reported.

The Spanish government said the bill would give women who suffer from severe menstrual pain three days of optional medical leave a month. Two additional days will be permitted in exceptional cases.

The leave will be financed by the state, adding that the draft legislation would “end the stigma, shame and silence around periods.”

Some trade unions and analysts described the policy as long overdue but others cautioned against it. Some union groups worry that the measure could put off some employers from hiring women and hinder the latter’s access to the job market.

Even so, the Spanish regions of Catalonia and Castellon have offered menstrual leave to local government employees.

The proposal is part of a package that will be debated in the Spanish parliament in advance of approval. The package also includes an expansion of abortion rights by eliminating the requirement that 16 and 17-year-olds acquire parental approval before terminating a pregnancy.

Worldwide, menstrual leave is offered in very few countries. Those who make it available include Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Zambia, and Indonesia.

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