France has become the latest country to join the global fight against period poverty—the inability to pay for menstrual protection. On February 23, 2021, the French government announced that period products would be available for free for students.
As per reports, Higher Education Minister Frederique Vidal has stated that in the coming weeks, student residences and university health services will see machines containing tampons, sanitary towels, and other period products.
By the next academic year i.e. September, the government intends to make period protection “completely free of charge.”
You may recall, in November 2020, Scotland became the first country to make period products free for all. At that point, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, had tweeted, “Proud to vote for this groundbreaking legislation, making Scotland the first country in the world to provide free period products for all who need them. An important policy for women and girls.”
England, too, is playing a part in ending period poverty as it has made period products free in all primary and secondary schools. Last week, New Zealand announced that it will roll out free products to students for the next three years. “Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population,” Prime Minister Jacinda Arden told a portal.