Pupil association calls for action on period poverty in schools
25 May 2023
The association representing secondary school pupils in Flanders took action in front of the Flemish Parliament on Thursday, calling for a more organised approach to the issue of period poverty.
A recent study by the Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel (VSK) of 11,000 pupils shows that 90 per cent want to see period poverty addressed in schools. According to the VSK, one in eight pupils cannot afford to buy menstrual products, and the official approach is fragmented, meaning not all pupils have equal access to support.
“Every pupil deserves information and support,” said spokesperson Ibtissam Arkob. “That should not depend on whether your school happens to be taking part in one of the many fragmented projects.”
"We think good information, free menstrual products and clean toilets are basic rights"
The VSK is calling for a public debate on the issue and a more coordinated approach, with funds made available for projects that tackle menstrual poverty, free products in schools and accessible information for education providers.
“A lot of schools and local councils are getting involved, but a lot of children are still left out,” Arkob said. “We think good information, free menstrual products and clean toilets are basic rights. And it won’t just be people in menstrual poverty who benefit from this. The right approach helps everyone move forward.”
Countries including Spain, New Zealand and the UK provide free menstrual products in schools.
#FlandersNewsService | ANP/ HOLLANDSE HOOGTE / LAURENS VAN PUTTEN