Taipei and Tainan help women fight menstrual poverty

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Taipei, Sep 15 (CNA) The cities of Taipei and Tainan recently launched trial programs to help women tackle menstrual poverty, which is a lack of access to menstrual products.

In Taipei, sanitary products will be available for free at five high schools during the September-January semester, according to the city’s Gender Equality Office.

The initiative is expected to benefit more than 1,500 women and students, according to the office’s Cheng Wei-chun (鄭維鈞).

“Periodic poverty doesn’t only exist in poor countries, and it can be a mindset that places an invisible burden on women,” Cheng told CNA on Tuesday.

For example, a woman may decide to reduce the number of times she changes sanitary napkins during her period to save money, which is a form of menstrual poverty, he said.

This is why the city wants to make these products as accessible as possible to people who need them, especially after seeing other rich countries like New Zealand allocate a budget to make vintage products free in schools, Cheng said.

Feminine hygiene brand Kotex has partnered with the city, which said it will also help expand the program this year by providing ongoing resources to teachers and promoting awareness on campus.

Previously, the brand worked with teachers to create interactive educational materials such as videos, board games and a local menstruation-themed website, reaching around 36,000 girls and boys, said Kelly Yang (楊永玲) , Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at Kimberly. -Clark Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The southern city of Tainan has chosen to target disadvantaged women first to increase menstrual equality, including those who are homeless, abused, or from remote townships.

Between September and November, the city will distribute sanitary supplies to about 2,000 women who have difficulty accessing them, officials said.

According to Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲), the city government will also place sanitary napkins in women’s toilets at two civic centers and 37 district offices across Tainan to help break stigma with menstruation. .

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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