Free Period Products for EP Visitors

I am happy to share that the European Parliament is launching a pilot project of providing free period products at our visitors’ toilets!

Thank you to all my colleagues from different political groups who supported this initiative of mine, which the Parliament has adopted. We believe that menstrual security should be a collective issue. It is a question of dignity, solidarity, and health. Period products are a necessity for a sizable proportion of our guests. For people on their period, they are as intuitively essential as toilet paper, soap or hand towels and should therefore be made as readily available.

Thousands of Europeans travel to Brussels or Strasbourg to visit the European Parliament every year. Many are students or young people, and about 40% are women. Diversity is one of our Union’s key strengths, and we should welcome all our visitors by providing them with these necessities in our public toilets.

Across Europe, there is a movement to make menstrual products more easily accessible. France provides free sanitary products in universities. Ireland has committed to providing accessible, adequate, safe, and suitable period products in all publicly funded educational settings. Soon the European Parliament will join this movement, allowing our visitors extra peace of mind, even during their menstruation days.

This progressive step towards gender equality is in line with the view of the majority of the Parliament, as reflected in the widely supported Fred Matic’s resolution of 24 June 2021, where the Parliament underlined the adverse effects of the “tampon tax” on gender equality in the Member States and encouraged providing free period products to those who need them.

Thank you for your support to my colleagues: Mr João ALBUQUERQUE (S&D), Mr Robert BIEDROŃ(S&D), Ms Malin BJÖRK (The Left), Ms Sylvie BRUNET (Renew), Ms Anna CAVAZZINI (Greens/EFA), Ms Josianne CUTAJAR (S&D), Ms Gwendoline DELBOS-CORFIELD (Greens/EFA), Mr Malte GALLÉE (Greens/EFA), Mr Pierre LARROUTUROU (S&D), Ms Karen MELCHIOR (Renew), Ms Tilly METZ (Greens/EFA), Ms Samira RAFAELA (Renew), Ms Manuela RIPA (Greens/EFA), Ms Monica SEMEDO (Renew), Ms, Ramona STRUGARIU (Renew) and Ms Irène TOLLERET (Renew), Christophe HANSEN, Monika BEŇOVÁ, Fabienne KELLER, Marcel KOLAJA,

Together we are making the European Parliament a welcoming place for women and girls!

In the European Parliament, we held a workshop on Period poverty in December 2022 in the FEMM Committee. The Policy Department organised this on Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs.

Period poverty is a lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management, or a combination. It affects an estimated 500 million people worldwide. People who experience period poverty cannot purchase the menstrual products they need, and, in many cases, this means that they cannot go to school or work or otherwise participate in daily life. Period poverty causes physical, mental, and emotional challenges. It can make people feel shamed for menstruating, and the stigma surrounding periods prevents individuals from discussing it.

You can find the briefing from Klara KINNL and Ulrich WOHAK from Vienna University of Economics and Business here: Free the Period? Evaluating Tampon Tax Reforms in the European Union, both presented their findings at the workshop. We also heard from Laura MEDINA PERUCHA from Institut Universitari d’Investigació en Atenció Primaria (IDIAPJGolà), Barcelona.

You can find the web streaming of the workshop on the European Parliament website.

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