Dr. Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health, announced today a Ministry of Health (MOH) effort to address period poverty by providing free sanitary pads for underprivileged women.
The newly appointed health minister mentioned Scotland as an example of period poverty measures. Last August, Scotland became the first country to make period goods, such as tampons and sanitary pads, free for all women.
“As the first female health minister, it’s essential that we begin with the Ministry of Health.”
“We will begin giving out free sanitary pads at the minister’s office bathrooms,” she declared at the ministry’s inaugural monthly meeting.
“I had previously worked with NGOs (non-governmental organisations) on this topic (period poverty), but on a smaller basis.”
“I feel it is now time to address the issue on a policy level,” she stated.
The Sekijang MP stated that she will begin the initiative in her ministry and then expand it to other ministries based on feedback.
She also stated that her government will study how to ease period poverty issue in Budget 2023.
Period poverty is defined as a lack of access to period products, education, hygiene facilities, waste disposal, or some combination of these. People affected by these cannot afford the menstrual products they need, which negatively impacts their daily lives.