Govt. to provide free sanitary pads to 800,000 female students annually

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In a move aimed at addressing menstrual hygiene challenges and promoting educational equity, the Cabinet of Ministers approved an initiative to distribute free sanitary pads annually to 800,000 female students countrywide. 

The initiative, set to commence this month will benefit students in the most remote, isolated and underserved schools, including estate schools and urban areas with significant populations of economically disadvantaged female students.

With a total student population of 4 million in Sri Lanka, around 1.2 million are female students who have attained puberty. 

“Recognising the importance of menstrual hygiene management in ensuring uninterrupted access to education, particularly for young women, the Government has prioritised the initiative to support female students in need,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said at the post-Cabinet meeting media briefing yesterday. 

The initiative was long awaited as normalising access to sanitary pads and promoting open dialogue about menstrual health, can reduce stigma surrounding menstruation and empower young women to thrive academically and socially. 

The proposal put forth by the Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha received unanimous approval from the Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday.