PETALING JAYA: A special kit aimed at challenging public stigma related to menstrual constraints through proper education and health management system will be distributed to teenage girls from the B40 group in stages in Selangor.
The Kit Prihatin Perempuan, is aimed at providing support and raising awareness among teenage girls from the ages of nine to 17 from the B40 group, as well as provide them with a monthly supply of reusable sanitary pads.
The Kit Prihatin Perempuan, an initiative by Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, will be implemented by Persatuan Anak-Anakmu Selangor in collaboration with Penggerak Wanita Muda Negara (Selangor).
A total of 200 kits will be distributed in its first phase and applications can also be made by representatives, parents or guardians of the girls.
Conditions for eligibility is that they must be aged nine to 17 years old, from the B40 group and a resident in Selangor.
Those interested can visit https://charipad.my/backend/signup.php.
A recent survey by the non-government organisation WASH United, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (Waggs) and Unicef found that about one in four women and girls between the ages of 13 and 35 are finding it harder to manage their periods since the beginning of the pandemic.
The survey also found that 47% of women are finding it more difficult to access menstrual supplies since the pandemic.
Most of those affected are from underprivileged and disadvantaged households and communities.
All around the world, millions of girls drop out of school each year because of "period poverty", which is when girls and women lack access to sanitary products and turn to unsafe alternatives like toilet paper, rags and newspaper.
In Malaysia, the pandemic has increased financial hardship, especially for daily wage earners.
As B40 communities get hit hardest by Covid-19 with job losses and cuts, the ability to purchase menstrual products every month is not possible for many people.