Health services on campus and French student hostels will install distributors offering free tampons, sanitary napkins and other items in the coming weeks, Minister of Higher Education Frédérique Vidal announced on Tuesday.
And, after the northern hemisphere summer, eco-friendly products will be distributed more widely to overcome what activists are calling epoch poverty.
One in three female college students would benefit, she said, with 13% of 6,500 people polled in a recent survey saying they had to choose between buying period protections and other everyday items. such as food in the past.
France’s plan follows pioneer New Zealand and Scotland, whose parliament passed a law last year making sanitary napkins free in all public buildings.
Germany cut consumption tax on tampons by 19% at the start of last year – after protests
Campaigners say girls often miss school because of the inaccessibility and cost of sanitation items or cramp medication – factors that worsen gender inequalities and future educational and employment opportunities girls.
Distributors had already been installed in about thirty high schools across France, French news agency TBEN reported on Tuesday. Hundreds of institutions will likely follow.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday renewed a pledge made in December that the dignity of women must be protected from what he called an “invisible injustice” that could no longer be tolerated.
Earlier in February, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the distribution of free products in the South Pacific country, starting in June, with an estimated cost of NZ $ 25 million ($ 18 million Americans) over three years.
This would help increase school attendance and improve the well-being of adolescents, Ardern predicted.
“Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is part of the normal life of half the population,” she said.
ipj / aw (TBEN, dpa)