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On the eve of March 8th, International Women's Day, the Catalan minister for Equality and Feminism, Tània Verge, has announced that the government has approved the Plan for menstrual and menopausal equity 2023-2025 which will guarantee free access to reusable menstrual products for all women. The government of the Generalitat estimates that up to 1.8 million women will be able to benefit from this measure in Catalonia. In addition, Verge explained that the plan includes around 60 measures that, among other goals, seek to put an end to social stigmas through information and awareness actions in relation to menstruation and menopause. The products will be able to be picked up at points of proximity right across Catalonia, with "full territorial equity", and information and advice on their use will also be provided at the point of collection. However, the minister has not yet specified where these points will be or how they will work. It is a measure that will be extended to the whole of the territory, for all women, regardless of where they live and their income level.

The Catalan government emphasises that it is thus strengthening its commitment to sustainable options, since, as the ministry notes, around 9,000 tons of non-reusable menstrual products are produced annually in Catalonia. This is not the only goal of the plan, though: it is also envisaged that it will help break taboos and stigmas about menstruation and menopause, as well as combating menstrual poverty, which affects one in five women in the country and could increase in the current context, with a rising cost of living.

The 'My period, my rules' initiative is being expanded

Almost a year ago, the minstry launched the first phase of its initiative La meva regla, les meves regles - 'My period, my rules' (the word regla in Catalan can mean both 'menstrual period' and 'rule'). Now the plan is to be expanded, as Verge announced. This year it will reach 85,500 secondary students aged 14-15 (3rd year ESO) in 1,120 schools, and this will be repeated every year from now on. In addition, starting next year, discounts will be introduced through the Carnet Jove and university ID cards for the purchase of sustainable and reusable menstrual products. The project is accompanied by a website and a spot:

To facilitate the use of the menstrual cup (one of the most sustainable menstrual hygiene products, as its useful life can be as long as 10 years), toilets in public facilities and work spaces, including in educational centres, will be adapted and signposted. Other facilities and services open to the public all over Catalonia will also be encouraged to do so. In addition, access to quality information is planned to put an end to the myths, taboos and lack of knowledge that prevent a dignified, free, healthy and sustainable experience of menstruation and menopause.