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Victória Sales – from Cenarium

MANAUS – A day after the veto of the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro (no party), in the distribution of the product for low-income women, tampons and pads suffered an increase of 1.42% in September, according to data released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) this Friday, 8. In an exclusive interview to CENARIUM, experts point out that the higher cost makes the acquisition unfeasible, leaving this public more and more distant from minimum conditions and dignity to life.

According to the economist Denise Kassama, with prices varying from R$ 5, the package, and, even more, in this sensitive period through which the economy is going through, the tampon can be considered an expensive product in view of the difficulties of families who do not even have what to eat daily. “One out of four low-income girls and young women stop going to school during menstrual periods due to lack of resources to buy tampons, which can lead to a delay in their studies, since they may miss up to a week of classes a month”, he said.

Menstrual poverty affects 213 thousand young Brazilians. (Ricardo Oliveira/Cenarium)

Denise also points out that, currently, there are 27 million Brazilians living below the poverty line. For this public, any increase in 1st necessity items can compromise their purchase.

According to the university student Paola Xavier, 26, it was very clear that there is no interest on the part of the president to gestate to the population. “Who ends up suffering the most with this are precisely the groups that need it the most, and generally these groups are uneducated. Another thing that we need to remember is that the current president doesn’t even have a party, and this is already a shame for the country that gives an image of disorder”, she said.

Paola also says that the impact happens when there are girls whose family is financially vulnerable and cannot afford to buy the basics, and pads become a luxury item. “And because of this, many of these girls end up skipping school, missing classes and further harming their school performance”, she said.

Project

Soon after the veto, journalist Nauzila Campos decided to create a campaign to collect tampons and food baskets to distribute among low-income women in Manaus. “You just have to be a woman, have sorority and empathy. Menstrual poverty is a reality all over Brazil and in Manaus it is no different. If you can’t count on the president, let’s roll up our sleeves for each other”, explained Nauzila.

The journalist also says that the collections are still going on and, until the third day, R$ 700 were collected, and she highlighted that the distribution of the product will happen on October 16th. “We are mapping the places in Manaus where there is more need. You can donate at will, without haste. We will check with the public schools in the suburbs these needs of the students. Teachers know this reality well. The mapping must start from there”, she highlighted.

“When women unite they are never alone. Every woman is strong. But behind every strong woman there is another woman who also makes a difference. So, I’m just playing my role as a woman who can’t even imagine the reality of someone who can’t afford the basic need to buy a tampon. We need to move urgently”, Nauzila emphasized.

Studies

Menstrual poverty affects 213 thousand young Brazilians, according to the National School Health Research (Pense), which revealed the lack of access to basic hygiene products during menstrual periods. In Amazonas, the program “Menstrual Dignity”, sanctioned by State Law No. 5.550 of July 28, 2021, ensures that girls and women receive free pads to ensure protection during the menstrual cycle. The item was classified as an “essential good and a basic hygiene product” in the state and will be intended for students in public elementary schools and above.

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