Spain are banning women with endometriosis from joining the police
Women have been told for years that their endometriosis symptoms were exaggerated or imaginary. There has been a long and exhausting campaign for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Almost immediately upon becoming widely understood, this common condition is now used to blanket-ban women from employment, as Spain bars women with endometriosis from joining the police.
The spokesperson for EndoSpain said “This is completely discriminatory and excludes many women who are able to lead normal lives.”
Endo_black, who advocate for African American and WOC highlighted the injustice on Instagram:
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Is Spain’s endometriosis ban for police extreme?
UK police currently treat endometriosis on a case-by-case basis, when assessing a candidate’s ability to work. In the UK the type of ban imposed by Spain would fall under type 2 of the Equality Act 2010’s guidelines on sex discrimination – indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex.
Why can’t women with endometriosis simply be accepted, treated and respected – in exactly the same way that sufferers of other chronic conditions can expect to be? Why are women routinely denied the human rights of appropriate medical care for their chronic pain, and the right to work in any profession, when sufferers of chronic illnesses that affect men as well women are not discriminated against in this way? Sadly the answer seems to be the institutionalised sexism inherent in official bodies such as medicine and law enforcement.
While some institutions seem keen to make changes to improve their treatment of women, others seem to be heading back to the 1950’s. There have already been large-scale protests in the country about Spain’s lenient treatment of sex offenders and domestic abusers, which seems to point to an inherent bias against women. Sadly, this has translated into yet more obstacles and exclusion for women with an illness that only affects people with a womb.