What is menstrual leave? And should you get it?

The internet is flooded with news and opinion pieces about the Spanish government's upcoming decision to grant women a menstrual leave. Let’s find out more about this leave and what people think about it.

Published on:May 18th 2022 |Updated on:May 10th 2024
إجازة الدورة الشهرية

It is not the first time 

Many countries already have legislation in place that grants women the right to have paid leave during their periods. These countries include Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Taiwan.  Many companies like Nike and Zomato, have policies that grant women a similar leave during their menstrual cycle. In 2019 a company in Egypt raised a lot of eyebrows for offering a period of leave for its female employees. There were attempts in Italy and Russia to pass similar legislation, that were never approved. The Spanish government will be the first in Europe to approve such leave.

What is Menstrual leave?

Periods can be painful, they can cause mood swings, irritation, and severe bleeding. Many women skip a day or two of work every month due to the severity of these symptoms. So, by having such legislation women can have paid leaves while on their periods, to recover at home.

Pros and Cons of Menstrual Leaves


  • Women can recover and rest without losing paid days.
  • Women will feel empowered by this kind of support.
  • Breaking the taboo and stigma surrounding women’s menstrual cycle.


  • Invasion of women’s privacy since HR, and management will have the exact days of each female employee’s cycle.
  • Increase of chances of workplace bullying. Since women are often labeled emotional and irrational during their periods.
  • The opportunity might be abused by women who don’t need time off because of their periods.


Women’s health certainly needs more attention and understanding in the workplace. But what many women and wellbeing experts are suggesting is to grant women an increased number of paid sick leaves, more than the one granted to male employees. And to have half of these days taken without an official medical excuse from a doctor. This way women can have these days on their periods if they need to, without having their privacy invaded. And they will have the rest they need on their period or any other day related to their health as women.

Would you apply for such a leave?

Also read Introducing Omooma: Empowering women through knowledge

OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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