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HomeLatest News"Menstrual Activism" at the University of Vigo: free pads and tampons in...

“Menstrual Activism” at the University of Vigo: free pads and tampons in vending machines

Date: August 20, 2022 Time: 04:44:17

A little over a year ago, coinciding with International Women’s Day, the University of Vigo (UVigo) announced that it was going to distribute free pads and tampons on its campuses to all members of the educational community who need them. To access these products, one had to apply to the student delegations of the centers, but from now on they will be available in dispensers that the institution wants to place in all faculties and schools. The initiative is part of what Unidade de Igualdade director Agueda Gomez calls UVigo’s “menstrual activity” to fight poverty related to the difficulty of accessing menstrual hygiene products.

The university is going to publicly introduce the dispensers next week on the Vigo campus, but plans to install them on the Pontevedra and Ourense campuses as well. The machines come at a time when VAT cuts on menstrual products were left out of an abortion law reform approved by the Council of Ministers last week that would be scrapped due to broken rules. The Ministry of Equality included in the text a reduction in the rate from the current 10% to 4%, known as super-cut and applied to goods considered vital. The cut is included in the agreement between the coalition government PSOE and United We Can, but it has yet to see the light of day.

When the University of Vigo presented its initiative in March 2021, Águeda Gómez called it a “real-life example” of striving for a “more equal and fair” university, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. impact “mainly on the impoverishment of women” in terms of job loss, widening wage gaps, and gender equality in time use. One of the challenges, he said at the time, was to fight the monthly poverty that forces us to choose between period products and other essentials. But he also defended it as a way to “restore that historical patriarchal slur that has always cast aside, made invisible, excluded and left out women’s vital and social needs.”

UVigo recalls that in 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to legally guarantee free access to pads and tampons, and a few months later, New Zealand announced that it was going to distribute free feminine hygiene products in all schools in the country. country. France also confirmed at the time that it would distribute these products to university students. It is estimated, the university added, that a woman spends up to 6,000 euros on these materials over her lifetime.


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