Selangor will be the first state in Malaysia to offer FREE sanitary pads, and the state government has set up RM200,000 for publicity efforts in support of this programme.
Juwairiya Zulkifli, a Bukit Melawati assemblyperson, claimed that although the problem is not new, many are choosing not to discuss it further due to societal stigma.
According to Juwairiya, this programme will not only help the recipients but also lessen the stigma associated with difficulties related to period poverty.
“Among the groups at risk of facing such a situation are women in rural areas, the urban poor, and the extreme poor.”
In addition, she noted that the lack of sanitary pads might restrict female students’ participation in academic activities, which would impair learning.
“Students may choose not to attend school, and this is one of the reasons that lead to dropouts.”
Juwairiya said that a number of foreign nations have also introduced programmes of a similar nature, including South Korea, which has provided free sanitary towels in all public settings since 2018; Scotland will follow in 2020, as reported by Selangor Kini.
To combat menstruation poverty in Selangor, she also hopes that this programme can continue in the upcoming year with a larger budget. The funding is part of the RM2.45 billion state budget for 2023 that Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari presented last week.