June 6, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Spain rejoices: Parliament allowed sex change at 16 and approved "menstrual holiday"

In Spain, a law has been passed that allows you to change the gender in documents at the age of 16. On the steps of parliament, people cheered on the February 16 draft law on transgender rights and “menstrual leave”.

To change the gender in the passport, it will now be enough to submit an application. The new law makes Spain one of the few countries with a simplified gender reassignment procedure – before that, Denmark was the only one in Europe, a similar law was passed there in 2014. Before the adoption of the new law, the Spaniards could apply for a gender change in the documents, only with a medical certificate of gender dysphoria and official confirmation of treatment with hormonal drugs for two years.

Yesterday, February 16, deputies approved another important law for many, allowing women to take paid time off in case of painful periods. 185 deputies voted for the adoption of the law on “menstrual leave”, although 154 were “against”. Only a few countries – Japan, Indonesia and Zambia – have such a system of days off.

Absence from work must be approved by a doctor. Then, women who experience pain during their monthly period are given leave for a certain number of days, which are paid not by the employer, but by the state social security system. The opposition People’s Party expressed concern that the law risks “stigmatizing” women and could have “negative effects on the labor market” for them.

“Menstrual leave” is one of the key measures in the general law to expand access to abortions in public hospitals. Today, less than 15% of abortions are performed there, the main reason is the refusal of doctors to terminate a pregnancy for ethical reasons. Spain is a European leader in women’s rights: abortion was decriminalized in the country in 1985, and a law was passed in 2010 allowing women to terminate pregnancies within the first 14 weeks.

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