Selangor To Become First State To Offer Free Sanitary Pads In Fight Against Period Poverty
A free sanitary pad programme will be implemented for the first time by Selangor as part of the state's RM2.45 billion budget for 2023
The topic came up during the budget debate session at the Selangor state legislative assembly yesterday, 30 November.
Bukit Melawati assemblyperson Juwairiya Zulkifli applauded the initiative to combat the stigma surrounding period poverty, which is when there is a lack of access to menstrual products, sanitation facilities, and adequate menstrual hygiene education.
The subject, according to her, is not new, but because it is stigmatised and shunned by society, it is rarely discussed.
"Among the groups at risk of facing such a situation are women in rural areas, the urban poor, and the extreme poor," she was quoted as saying by Selangor Journal, adding that this is one of the factors contributing to education dropouts.
RM200,000 has been allocated in the 2023 Selangor Budget to address period poverty
The sum includes an awareness campaign and the provision of free sanitary pads, according to Selangor Journal.
"I hope this programme can continue in the coming years with bigger allocation to deal with period poverty in Selangor," said Juwairiya.
Meanwhile, other nations have already adopted the practice. In South Korea, free sanitary towels have been distributed in all public spaces since 2018. Scotland followed suit and became the first country in the world to make period products free for all their citizens.
Last year, a woman came across a 12-year-old girl who did not have enough money to buy sanitary pads in Perak: