Catalonia has approved a plan in which the regional government will provide free organic menstrual products to all women. Investments are also being made in information and teaching programs to combat taboos about menstruation and menopause.
About 20% of all women have insufficient or even no access to tampons, menstrual cups or pads during menstruation. Consequently, the Catalan Generalitat, which should provide for equal treatment of men and women, recently approved this measure within the regional government.
Millions of euros for plan equal treatment for men and women
An initial budget of €7.6 million will be made available. Furthermore, the plan will become operational in 2023 and should be fully implemented by 2025. The full plan consists of about sixty measures that must be implemented within two years.
The menstrual products are made available through the Generalitat’s women’s support network and through specially designated district points. Within the plan, a training has also been designed for all professionals working in women’s care. Teaching programs are also being developed in the third year of secondary education (ESO) to share more knowledge about menstruation and menopause. This is to make these times in women’s lives a lot milder and more dignified.
Information and new teaching programs are needed to break taboos
Tània Verge, Catalonia’s regional minister of equality, stated that menopause is even less known than menstruation. And as such, there are many myths and taboos to break. According to the regional minister, it is therefore, important to teach women in particular about these subjects at a young age. Improvements in ventilation, rest and hygiene areas and a plan to introduce flexible working hours during menopause or menstruation are some of the topics currently being discussed.
Spain first European country with menstrual leave
The latter is currently already partially applicable. Women who experience severe pain as a result of their menstruation have been given three to five days of leave every month since the beginning of this year. Girona already introduced this in the midddle of 2022 for female civil servants from the Catalan municipality.