IPOH: A total of 1,730 young women in Perak face menstrual poverty, says Dr Datuk Wan Norashikin.
The chairman of the Perak social protection committee said that among the problems encountered were financial constraints and lack of information on menstruation and hygiene.
“We realize that many of them belong to B40 families, where they not only face financial difficulties in purchasing sanitary napkins, but they also lack well-equipped facilities and privacy to stay. dispose of used sanitary napkins.
“As this is a crucial issue, the state, in collaboration with the relevant agencies and departments, has planned several awareness campaigns and programs to help them.
“Not only do we have the program in the community, but also in the schools,” she said in her response to Wong May Ing (PH-Pantai Remis) during a question-and-answer session at state assembly sitting here Friday (Dec 17).
She said that among the programs organized, KafeTEEN @ PIK by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to advocate and share information on rule management.
“The program took place online, with 576 participants involved.
“Apart from this, Perak Wanita also organized a series of 12 webinars on sexual and reproductive health education with the Darul Ridzuan Institute, where we covered both women’s and children’s health.
“The Islamic Religious Department of Perak (JAIPk) also took the initiative to offer one-time assistance to affected B40 families, where they received sanitary napkins, bichons and formula,” she said, adding that the State and Perak Wanita Secretariat plans to distribute basic health kits to women facing menstrual poverty.
In his additional question to Wan Norashikin, Wong asked if there were any cases of menstrual poverty that caused girls to miss school.
“Since there are reports that many schoolgirls miss classes during their period, do we have the same situation in Perak?” she said.
Wan Norashikin said although the state does not have the exact figure, there have been reported cases of school-going girls missing their classes due to menstruation.
“There have been cases reported not only by the state social service, but also by the education service.
“We hope that with the programs we have in the planning, this will further help those affected by menstrual poverty,” she said.
In his response to Jamilah Zakaria (BN-Trong), who suggested that the state consider producing reusable towels and selling them at a lower price, Wan Norashikin said the suggestion would be considered.
“The idea is really good, where we could also help women in the state start a business making reusable pads and selling them with menstrual cups.
“But we’ll need to do more research, including checking clean water supplies for reusable towels,” she said.