Rotterdam schools offer free menstrual products

Rotterdam schools offer free menstrual products

ROTTERDAM, 25 March 2024 – In a pioneering move, Rotterdam has become the first city in the Netherlands to offer free menstrual products in schools, a significant effort aimed at combating poverty and enhancing equality of opportunity for students.

Free menstrual products introduced in schools

In collaboration with the Poverty Fund (Armoedefonds), Rotterdam is setting an example nationwide by making menstrual products freely available across 215 primary schools and 80 secondary schools. This initiative ensures that no student misses out on education due to the lack of menstrual products at home.

The impact of menstrual poverty

It has been identified that one in ten young women, aged between 12 and 25, faces menstrual poverty, translating to approximately 2,100 students in Rotterdam's educational institutions. The lack of access to menstrual products has led to some students missing school, adversely affecting their academic performance. To address this issue, the city of Rotterdam and the Poverty Fund have joined forces to combat menstrual poverty.

Beyond availability – breaking the taboo

Making menstrual products a standard feature in school toilets serves multiple purposes. It not only prevents students from missing lessons but also avoids the use of harmful alternatives. Additionally, this initiative aims to break the menstrual taboo by normalizing the presence of these products as a basic necessity, similar to soap and toilet paper.

Educational resources and advice

Schools have the opportunity to request 'The Menstruation Information Booklet' from the Poverty Fund, targeting students in the last years of primary education and the first year of secondary education. The booklet, developed by Menstrucation in collaboration with the Poverty Fund and supported by CityLab010, is part of an effort to destigmatize conversations about menstruation and poverty, empowering students to seek help and use products safely.

Strategic availability

The programme advises schools to make menstrual products discreetly available in female toilets without necessitating a request, emphasizing that they are also for home use. This approach aims to ensure accessibility while maintaining dignity.

A city's commitment

This initiative follows a widely supported city council motion from 2022, with an annual budget of €82,000. Penny van Laarhoven from the Poverty Fund expressed gratitude for the collaboration with Rotterdam, highlighting the significance of providing free menstrual products in schools to address menstrual poverty and promote fairness.

Dear reader. Thank you for reading this article. We work hard to provide accurate and relevant content, but sometimes mistakes or outdated information may occur. If you spot any issues, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your feedback helps us maintain high-quality content for our readers. We appreciate your support and engagement. Happy reading!

You might also like

About is the largest and most popular online platform for expats and longstay tourists in Rotterdam.

Business inquiries

We're always open to receiving press releases or business inquiries. Just send us an email at hello [@]

Acquire us

We're looking to get acquired by a startup or enterprise with deep pockets. Go ahead, make us an offer we can't refuse. ;-)