KLANG: Selangor will be the first state in Malaysia to address period poverty issues with an allocation of RM200,000 in its 2023 budget.
When the Selangor budget was being formulated a few months ago, Bukit Melawati assemblyman Juwairiya Zulkifli proposed to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari that the state address the issue.
Juwairiya said it was crucial for Selangor to do this following the findings of a government study carried out in Kuala Lumpur some time ago.
"Some 13.1% of the respondents said they faced issues getting sanitary napkins because they were expensive.
"It occurred to me that if such a thing can exist in Kuala Lumpur among the urban poor, what about the B40 community in Selangor, especially in rural areas?'' questioned Juwariya.
She then proposed the idea of providing free sanitary napkins to target groups, which was accepted and became part of Selangor's 2023 budget.
Amirudin had announced that RM200,000 would go towards addressing the period poverty issue in the state.
Funds will come from the coffers of state conglomerate Mentri Besar Incorporated (MBI), said Juwariya.
She said the target group, when the initiative is kickstarted next year, will be students from selected schools who will receive free sanitary napkins for one year.
She added the students selected will be those staying in low-cost flats and from low-income families.
"We do not want a one-off thing and so targeted recipients will receive the napkins for a whole year,'' she said on Thursday (Dec 1).
Juwariya said a study would be conducted to find out more about period poverty in the state, especially if girls were skipping school when on their periods.
With the implementation of the initiative, Selangor will be the first state to address period poverty as well as provide free sanitary napkins.