by Letizia Cini
After France also the Spain recognizes menstrual pain as a source of temporary disability to grant three days of leave. In recent days in France a virtuous example has started: on an experimental basis for a year, the Louis furniture factory among the employee benefits has included the menstrual leave.
A full day paid every 30 days that the 8 employees of the company can use to stop during the most painful days of the cycle. In an interview, Louis CEO Thomas Devineaux explained that the measure is beneficial to everyone. Not just for women. “Employees don’t have to produce no medical certificate and no authorization is required. In case of painful periods just inform the manager. We work in an atmosphere of flexibility and thus avoid unforeseen events during production. It is important that there is trust and well-being in the workplace, by doing so we hope to push other companies to follow our example ”, the motivation.
The Spanish model
It is now the turn of Spain, which in turn sets a good example at the institutional level: the Secretary of State for Gender Equality Angela Rodriguez in fact, he had his say: “If someone has a disease with such symptoms, temporary disability is granted: the same should apply to the menstrual cycle – his words -. The law also includes some measures to improve women’s health during their period, such as requiring schools to provide sanitary pads. It also aims to remove VAT from the price of sanitary pads, meeting the demands of Spanish women. The Spanish government also plans to expand the right to abortioneliminating the obligation that provides for the accompaniment of parents for those who are 16 or 17 years old ”.
In Spain, the right to menstrual health will be one of the main points of the reform of the law on abortion: from three-day sick leave to the formation of educational centers for the guarantee of hygiene products. A signal that confirms the attempt by several parts of guaranteeing one of the most undervalued right to health and often denied.
In Toulouse, the French company Labége has decided to establish a day of paid leave for all employees during the menstrual cycle. In Spain, the abortion law already has an approval date.
The Minister for Equality, Irene Montero
The Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, announced that his intention is to bring the reform of the law to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday 17 May. The text will expand rights not recognized so far by the law and will repeal the prohibition for minors aged 16 and 17 to terminate pregnancy without parental authorization, a provision introduced during the government of the PP by the then Minister of Justice Alberto Ruíz Gallardón. In addition to the issue of termination of pregnancy, the law also includes other important changes on women’s rights.
Within the text of the law there is also an extensive chapter on the right to menstrual health with ad hoc measures, including sick leave for up to three days and the provision of “hygiene products” “as a way to “Fight the so-called menstrual poverty“. The reform therefore provides for free access to hygiene products for women in situations of exclusion and the total elimination of VAT. “The fact that we know is that one in two women have a painful period and that one in four women have difficulty accessing products for managing menstruation,” said a few days ago the director of the Institute of Women, Toni Morillas. And she added: “In our country we have a problem with women’s bodies and we find it difficult to recognize menstruation as a physiological process that must generate rights”.
The Italian situation
In our country, dysmenorrhea is not recognized as a source of disability, sanitary pads also have a too high cost with VAT at 22%, as if they were luxury items that women buy on a whim and not because they are absolutely necessary. : the associations that deal with are doing a lot Tax Free Tamponadvocating the cause of free pads for female students in schools and activists to avoid the obligation for girls of 16 or 17 to be accompanied by their parents when they ask for the morning-after pill or when they enter the voluntary termination of pregnancy.
In Italy the first festival in the world on menstrual health
In Italy, meanwhile, the first festival in the world dedicated to menstrual health will be held from 17 to 19 June: in the country where institutions still struggle to fill in the gaps on a topic left too far on the sidelines, the associations Promise and Errante have decided to shake up the debate by organizing the first Menstrual Cycle Festival in the world. Together with the authors of the podcast Eva in Rosso they will make Milan the first city in the world in which for three days (from 17 to 19 June) they will try to discuss, reflect and above all find proposals. The first in Italy, one of the few in the world, the festival of periodwhich comes from the ideas and synergies created by the first podcast in Italy on the subject, Eva in Rosso.
“We organized it – explain the organizers on Produzioni dal basso, where a crowdfunding campaign is active – to inaugurate a new narrative of the menstrual cyclebecause even today it is seen as a taboo instead of being recognized as a fundamental issue for health and gender equality “.
The purpose of the event
To potential donors, the festival creators ask: “Did you know that up to 2021 menstrual aids had a VAT of 22% (as for luxury goods!) And that even today they are not considered essential? And that cycle-related pathologies, such as endometriosis, struggle to be diagnosed and treated correctly? Not to mention that about 20% of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 35 have never had a gynecological examination “. Here’s why a menstrual cycle festival, which will be “An opportunity to bring together different figures who deal with menstrual disclosure. It is an event where you can get information, compare and – why not – have fun! We will do it – the creators anticipate – through a series of talks, workshops, shows, concerts, stand-up comedies, live shows and DJ sets. And we will talk about endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Tampon Tax, menarche, transphobia, menstrual health and hygiene, environmental impact, gender discrimination and conflicts (both those private with our body and those outside of us) “.
The festival is organized by Eva in Rosso together with Errante and Promise – two associations that deal with female empowerment – and Studio But Maybe – with graphics and digital design. Usually every donation on a crowdfunding platform includes a gadget. In this case, it is a pack of sanitary napkins to be sent to the Ukrainian border with the humanitarian caravans organized by Rob de Matt.