Teen Times pleased that “Period Poverty” legislation proposal in Parliament this week
Menu

Teen Times pleased that “Period Poverty” legislation proposal in Parliament this week

A meeting of the House of Parliament in session. (file photo) A meeting of the House of Parliament in session. (file photo)

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The young writers of Teen Times on Monday said that they were happy to note that the Education Committee of Parliament will be discussing its Period Poverty legislation proposal this week. The meeting is chaired by Chairperson of the Committee Member of Parliament (MP) Angelique Romou.

In 2021 the group submitted to MP Romou a proposal for legislation that would mandate schools and other public spaces to provide free female sanitary products. The proposal follows a global movement to end what is known as “Period Poverty” and was Teen Times’ second legislation proposal presented that year to Parliament through a Member of Parliament.

Period poverty is defined as inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education, including but not limited to sanitary products. It is well established that meeting one’s basic needs—food, water, shelter—is the necessary foundation for health and well-being. Menstrual hygiene is also considered a basic need.

Teen Times outlines in its proposal that when menstruators resort to unhygienic alternatives, they are vulnerable to harmful physical and mental outcomes. Products like rags, paper towels, and reused pads put menstruators at a heightened risk for urogenital infections, such as urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis. These products are also associated with outcomes such a skin irritation, vaginal itching, and white or green discharge. Further, the emotional toll accompanying lack of access is related to poor mental health outcomes, such as elevated anxiety and depression.

Teen Times explains that the Period Products Legislation should aim to tackle three main issues:

  • Period poverty
  • Period stigma
  • The effects of periods on education.

“We understand that such a proposal won’t happen overnight. But we also know that it is happening all over the world. So there are many examples of how this can work. It is a taboo issue on St. Maarten, nobody wants to talk about it. But speak to the schools, from elementary right up, and you will come to realize the size of the problem,” Coordinator of Teen Times Roosje Rommy-Richardson said.

For its part, Teen Times, in collaboration with Prime Distributors, are already making female hygiene projects available in one secondary schools free of charge. This project will now be expanded to include more schools in February, elementary as a well as secondary.

back to top

Soualiga Radio