Studies carried out by the women, family and community development ministry on period poverty involving teenagers and women from the B40 group around the capital have found that 13.1% cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
“This pilot study involved teenagers and women aged 13 to 24 in 13 People’s Housing Project (PPR) communities and two Social Welfare Department (JKM) institutions,” its deputy minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara today.
She was replying to a question from T Mohan, who wanted to know the actual situation of period poverty in the country as well as the government’s long-term plans to tackle the problem.
Period poverty refers to a situation where the girls or their families can’t afford to buy sanitary pads due to financial constraints.
To overcome the problem, Siti Zailah said her ministry had held awareness programmes, distributed hygiene kits to 130,000 teenagers as well as educated teenagers on health issues.
“The distribution (of hygiene kits) was implemented for teenagers aged between 13 and 17 last year through schools, with 1,105 schools (nationwide) involved,” she said.
She said her ministry also held programmes to help teenagers manager their hygiene routine as well as physical and mental health, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.