A selection of the menstrual products available at a school in Tallinn, Source: City of Tallinn

Tallinn provides free menstrual products in all its schools

Tallinn provides free menstrual products in all its schools

So that equal access to education will not be a burden every month

Statistics say it best. Estonia has 47,500 girls aged between 12 and 18 attending school, yet ten percent of them have had to regularly miss classes due to the inability to buy menstrual products. And an international study has concluded that 85 percent of school-age girls have irregular periods that can start suddenly.

That is why, the Estonian capital Tallinn has begun providing free-of-charge menstrual products at the local municipal schools since 1 March.

Discreet aid for schoolgirls

The menstrual products are available at the school toilets where they can be taken discreetly without needing to resort to asking other people for help. That way, the authorities also aim to provide privacy to the girls going through these changes and to make the phenomenon of menstruation less stressful and anxiety-ridden than it needs to be.

"We guarantee access to free menstrual products for young people because menstruation is inevitable and hygiene products must be available to everyone. It's a basic commodity, which will inevitably cost thousands of euros over the course of a lifetime, and it's an unequal economic burden," said Natalie Mets, Tallinn city government's nightlife adviser. 

And that’s why the city administration is stepping in to fill in the gap caused by this economic inequality.

The officials advise the schools to also place the free menstrual products in front of the school nurse's office and in the physical education changing rooms so that students can be aware of their availability.

This year, the city will contribute up to 50,000 euros in total to ensure free menstrual products for students.



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