France to give reusable period products to young women

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France to give reusable period products to young women
A woman sits on a sofa while holding a hot water bottle in Toulouse (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

France's prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced on Monday that the country would begin giving free reusable period products to young women.


Just a few days ahead International Women's Day, France's Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, announced plans to make reusable menstrual products reimbursable by French social security for women aged 25 and under.

The prime minister's goal is to fight against "period poverty" - the experience of lacking or being unable to afford menstrual products.


The plan follows a previous law that was passed in 2021, which led to the installation of 1,500 free menstrual product dispensers in universities, student cafeterias (Crous) and student health centres across France to fight against student poverty. 

Starting in 2024, those aged 25 and under will be able to buy sustainable period products - like menstrual cups and reusable pads - with full reimbursement from French social security.

According to reporting by La Voix du Nord, the products will need to be purchased in pharmacies with cost reimbursed via the carte vitale, as with prescriptions.

In recent years, France has begun investing more in fighting against period poverty. In 2020 and 2021, €1 million per year was budgeted for the objective. As for 2022, the government increased the budget to €5 million, with specific mechanisms in place to better support women experiencing homelessness or living in shelters.

As of 2022, the association Period Rules (Regles Elementaires), which fights against period poverty, estimated that at least four million women in France suffer from a lack of menstrual hygiene products.


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