News·3 min read

Daily Skimm Weekend: Period Leave, Strawberry Season, and 2022 Midterms

Spanish flag next to flag made from tampon
Camille Rapay | Photo: Getty
May 14, 2022

Have a Happy Period

Spanish Red: Pamplona? Rioja? Nope. The reason everyone’s talking about Spain this week is way more personal: periods. 

The Story

Spain could become the first Western country to offer time off for serious period pain. It’s part of a bigger reproductive health reform proposal that could also give out free pads and tampons in schools, allow 16- and 17-year-olds to access abortions without parental consent, and eliminate taxes on menstrual products.


You said it. About 84% of women get painful cramps. Every month. Not to mention other symptoms like migrainesfatigueGI issues, even anxiety and depression. And some conditions like endometriosis cause debilitating pain. Now, Spain may follow in the footsteps of countries that’ve had period leave for years (think: JapanZambiaSouth Korea), and those that’ve made products like tampons and pads free (think: Scotland).

So what happens now?

Well, it’s not a done deal yet — Spain’s Cabinet is meeting to discuss it next week. On the (red) table: Lawmakers will decide how to define “painful” periods (like whether a doctor’s note is needed), if leave will be paid or unpaid, and if workers will need to make up the time. And people have thoughts. Some think it’ll perpetuate sexist stereotypes about women and make them more subject to stigma. But others argue it’s a progressive measure that encourages people to take better care of themselves.


Every month, many women around the world put their work ahead of their health and wellbeing. And they try to do so without even showing they’re in pain. Now, Spain could become the first Western nation to give some relief — without strings attached.


The weekend means more time to do the things you love. For many of us, that’s reading. But we can’t Skimm it all for you. So instead, we’re giving you a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…

What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind...a moving, Pulitzer Prize-winning deep dive about one family coping with loss after 9/11.

The Pop Song That’s Uniting India and Pakistan…musician Ali Sethi wrote a song — and created a note of harmony among two nations in conflict.

Waking Up from the Nap the “inescapably rich” heiress behind the dress that went viral during the pandemic.


Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.

One of the sweetest things about May? It’s strawberry season in many parts of the country. Meaning, the time is now ripe for berry picking at a local farm (pro tip: bring your own container). Of course, you’re also likely to find a wide variety of fresh strawberries at grocery stores or farmers’ markets. And even more are available online — including cult-favorite varieties from a family farm, one that’s been described as the “Tesla” of strawberries, and those TikTok-famous ones that taste like pineapple.

Now, if you’re not sure what to do with your bounty, there are plenty of recipes and cookbooks that’ll help you make the most of the season. Think: strawberry jam biscuitsstrawberry lemonadestrawberry salads, and yes, strawberry shortcake. Or, just enjoy them on their own.

Eyes On: The 2022 Midterms

The midterm elections have a big impact on the policies that affect our day-to-day lives. So we’re here to help you Skimm Your Ballot. And Skimm what’s going on next week…

State(s) of Play: On Tuesday, May 17, there are primary elections in Idaho (Senate, House, Governor), Kentucky (Senate, House), North Carolina (Senate, House), Oregon (Senate, House, Governor), and Pennsylvania (Senate, House, Governor).

The Talkers: 

  • Pennsylvania is perhaps the swingiest of swing states. And this year, it’s got an open Senate seat. What was supposed to be a tight GOP race between Dr. Oz and David McCormick became even tighter, thanks to a "wild card" candidate (hi, Kathy Barnette).

  • Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) is facing a bunch of primary challengers (and some other challenges). And Sen. Richard Burr (R) is retiring, which has some rushing to fill his seat — in a primary set to be another test of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement power.

PS: The results of these elections are up to the voters. Click here to learn more about how to make your vote count.

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