Brussels, Belgium: Free menstrual products are being provided in at least six secondary schools in the City of Brussels through distribution machines to solve menstrual poverty at the beginning of this week.
On average, Menstruating costs €12 euros per cycle. The cost of menstrual products has long been a matter of discussion, mainly related to period poverty when a person does not have enough money to buy products such as sanitary pads, tampons or period cups.
Scotland recently became the first nation in the world to make menstrual products free of cost with a law that obliges educational institutions as well as local authorities to offer menstrual products for free.
The City of Brussels is following its example, starting in secondary schools.
Along with this, the Councillor for Dutch-language Education in the City of Brussels, Ans Persoons, mentioned in the statement, “Menstrual products are recognised as basic necessities in Belgium, but in practice, they remain expensive.”
“Not all our pupils have enough money to buy them every month. This can be accompanied by stress and embarrassment. By offering free menstrual products at school, we ensure that pupils do not have to worry about this in the first place,” she added in the statement.
Moreover, in most cases, one in eight girls, as well as women between 12 as well as 25, do not have enough money to buy period products, which is a figure that increases to 45 percent among those living in poverty, as per a study.
The danger of infections is increased when women use homemade alternatives or borrow tampons and pads from friends. Some girls choose to skip class.
The rise in the number of packages handed out by organisations like BruZelle, which gather period items to be delivered anonymously, also served to draw attention to the need for free period products.