Hoera for menstruaters in the Netherlands! The Dutch government has given a big fat thumbs up to free tampons and sanitary towels, which will soon be available at 2,500 distribution points nationwide.
The government is putting millions into distribution points which will be found at community centres, clothing banks, libraries, and secondary schools.
Over the next two years, Armoedefonds (the Poverty Fund) will use this money to open an additional 1,000 distribution points to the 1,500 points already present in the Netherlands.
Dutch schools get free menstrual products
No one should have to go without menstrual products. Henk de Graaf, director of the Poverty Fund, tells RTL Nieuws that “Our aim is that each municipality will have at least one distribution point.”
With a high demand from the education sector, between 600 and 700 points will be installed throughout Dutch schools, especially secondary schools.
Some schools have already seen the need for free menstrual products and answered. For example, the comprehensive school Porteum, in Lelystad has 21 of its own dispensers.
The Netherlands To Make Menstrual Hygiene Products Freely Available To Individuals Living On Low Incomes https://t.co/Lxv7fQpgkk— Ocean City Dentists (@OceanCityDental) December 7, 2022
“We know one in 10 girls and women don’t have money at home for menstrual products,” Rhody Matthijs tells RTL Nieuws on behalf of the school. “We can’t solve poverty, but we can give our students a helping hand.”
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Tackling period poverty
With the rise in inflation, schoolgirls won’t be the only ones relieved to get free menstrual products. “Even though tampons only cost a few euros, if you have to live on €40 a week, sometimes you just can’t afford it,” says De Graaf
“We are already helping 200,000 girls and women. These items are basic products that you need to function in society. We don’t want anyone to be excluded.”
Minister Carola Schouten for Poverty, Participation and Pensions also sees the importance and is dedicated to tackling menstrual poverty nationwide.
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And that’s not all. The government is also using a subsidy of €16 million in order to combat food aid and child poverty.
What do you think of more menstrual product distribution points? Tell us in the comments!