Useless Spanish Lessons
To continue INTIMINA's ongoing mission to tackle taboos associated with menstruation and discussing periods in everyday life. This year, as Spain passed its bill to make paid menstrual leave a legal requirement for businesses, we wanted to focus on menstruation and the workplace.
The Big Idea
There are 195 countries in the world, but just five of these have paid menstrual leave. And of all the countries in the Western world, which prides themselves on its progressiveness and equality, Spain is the only nation to offer paid menstrual leave.
This means that hundreds of thousands of women across the world need to lie and make excuses to their employers if they need to take time off because of period discomfort. So to break the stigma, and create conversations about period discomfort and work, we created 'Useless Spanish Lessons' – a parody Spanish language tutorial teaching viewers the top excuses people who menstruate use for sick leave.
The video saw three women speaking the phrases in Spanish – the phrases being “useless” because no one would need to use them if menstrual leave were approved in the UK, they could just say “I’m on my period”. The video was launched to the media in the run-up to Menstrual Hygiene Day, alongside a partnership with campaign group WASH United. We also worked with case studies of women who have been forced to lie to employers to get time off work due to period discomfort, helping to further our message and campaign for paid menstrual leave worldwide.
The campaign generated over 40 pieces of global coverage including pieces in the Daily Mirror, Tatler Asia and syndicated in titles across the USA, reaching an audience of over 13 million.