Normalize Periods

Period Pain Vs Your Work Place

Blean Tsige

Periods Can Be So Painful - How Should Work Environments React? 


This essay focuses on Spain’s cabinet approving the menstrual leave bill. This is the first European country that has allowed workers to call in sick for immense period pain. The bill still needs to be approved by the Parliament, but this would mean that there is a change in attitude towards the difficult subject regarding the talk about menstruation.


"Periods will no longer be taboo" - Ms Montero (Spanish Equality Minister)


This specific bill has caused all of Europe to contemplate how women are treated in their workspace and it has further sparked a serious debate. The bill is supposed to "ensure that women can live better", according to the Spanish Equality Minister (Deutsche Welle, 2022). She furthermore insists that this will help women to not work in pain anymore and that there is no more need to take a lot of medication against this discomfort. 

The idea behind this bill is not new, since countries like South Korea and Indonesia have already reformed the concept of menstrual leave. However, Europe is not too far behind, if the bill in Spain becomes law. The process of turning it into law is long and if this does not happen this could "stigmatize women", says Spain's Economy Minister Nadia Calvino (Deutsche Welle, 2022). 

In this sense, women are stigmatized and the talk about periods stays taboo. Pictures such as in the following showcase how women are trying to take control of the narrative. The illustration in Figure 1, is a painting of Donald Trump made with Levy’s menstrual blood. She painted this image as a response to Trump describing Megyn Kelly as "mean" and accused her of asking tough questions during a political debate.


Figure 1 - Sarah Levy made a portrait of Trump with her menstrual blood.


Trump is a controversial politician who believes in degrading women and is one of the main reasons that women are still facing disadvantages in the world. It is therefore vital for a policy such as the one in Spain to come into effect, so the bias of politicians like Trump can become ineffective. This could be considered a historical turning point that is being witnessed right now. 


Bloody Trump. (n.d.). Sarah Levy Art.

Deutsche Welle. (2022, May 17). Spain’s Cabinet approves menstrual leave bill. Dw.Com.