SHAH ALAM, Nov 30 — Bukit Melawati state assemblyman Juwairiya Zulkifli congratulates the Selangor state government for being the first state to introduce a free sanitary pad programme.
She said the issue of period poverty is not a new thing, but due to shame and stigma of the society who considers it taboo, it is rarely discussed.
According to Juwairiya, period poverty is when individuals lack the access obtain sanitary pads due to financial constraints, hygiene facilities or suitable waste management.
“Among the groups at risk of facing such a situation are women in rural areas, the urban poor and the extreme poor. While for female students, the absence of sanitary pads can limit their movements and activities at school.
“This problem would interfere with learning and could lead to the student choosing not to attend school and this is one of the factors contributing to education dropouts,” said Juwairiya during the 2023 Selangor Budget debate session at the Selangor State Legislative Assembly, here yesterday.
She added that several foreign countries have also implemented the programme, including South Korea, who offered free sanitary towels since 2018 in all public places, followed by Scotland in 2020.
Meanwhile, New Zealand also introduced free access to sanitary products to 3,200 female students in 15 schools and France has allocated 1 million Euros to provide sanitary pads in schools.
“I hope this programme can continue in the coming years with bigger allocation to deal with period poverty in Selangor,” said Juwairiya.
On Nov 25, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari announced a sum of RM200,000 in the 2023 Selangor Budget to address period poverty issue, which includes an awareness campaign and the provision of free sanitary pads.