Burgenland state, Austria, is set to launch a significant initiative to combat period poverty. Beginning next week, menstrual products, including tampons and pads, will be made available free of charge at all seven women’s counseling centers across the region. The move aims to alleviate the financial burden often faced by women and girls in managing their menstruation.
Astrid Eisenkopf, Deputy Governor and member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), underlined the significance of this endeavor, emphasizing that women should not encounter financial challenges due to their menstrual cycles. She pointed out that handling the additional monthly expenses associated with menstruation can be a struggle for many.
This program is designed to be inclusive, benefiting women across Burgenland, irrespective of their educational or employment status. It particularly emphasizes accessibility for single parents and women in various life stages.
The women’s advice centers will initially be stocked with 4,000 packs of tampons, each containing 64 pieces, and 1,800 packs of sanitary pads, each containing 20 pieces. To raise awareness about this vital initiative, informational flyers will be distributed to all schools in Burgenland.
However, there have been concerns raised regarding the timing of the program’s approval. Regina Petrik, leader of the Green Party, expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the application for the campaign will only be addressed in the state parliament session at the end of September, after the initiative has already been set in motion. Consequently, the state parliament’s role in approving the program will be limited.
In response to this, the Burgenland Student Union has strongly advocated for the provision of free menstrual products in schools. This further underscores the need for accessibility and support in addressing period poverty.