Free periodic coverage for all students at the start of the next school year. This is what the Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, announced this Tuesday, February 23. A decision that aims to fight against menstrual insecurity which particularly suffers students in difficulty.

1,500 distributors by September

In practice, in the coming weeks, the university residences of the Crous and the university health services will be equipped with menstrual protection dispensers, announced Frédérique Vidal during a meeting in Poitiers with students. “We are aiming for 1,500 distributors and full free admission at the start of the school year“September 2021,” she added.

These protections will be “environmentally friendly“, also specifies the ministry.

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A third of students experiencing menstrual precariousness

The free periodical protection in higher education was decided after a consultation work between the minister and various actors: parliamentarians, student organizations, or the association Basic Rules, said Frédérique Vidal.

According to a study carried out by the Association Fédérative des Etudiants de Poitiers and the National Association of Midwifery Students in February 2021, a third of female students would need financial assistance to be able to purchase periodic protection.

Initiatives are multiplying

Until now in France, initiatives existed but often remained local. At the beginning of February, the Île-de-France region, for example, announced that the universities and student residences in the region would soon be equipped with free distributors of organic periodic protection.

In December 2020, the prisons of Rennes and Brest announced the implementation of free protections for inmates. And in February, the city of Annecy also set up 10 free distributors.

Elsewhere in the world, Scotland voted last November to distribute free periodic protection to all those who need it and thus became the first country to legally guarantee that these products are free. Last week, New Zealand also pledged free access to periodic protection in schools.