It's bleeding, but there's no tampon within reach? This should no longer happen at public schools in the city of Lucerne.

The city of Lucerne wants to offer free tampons and pads in toilets at public schools.

Lucerne city council wants free tampons for Pupils

“Thanks to the free availability of menstrual items in public schools, menstruating women no longer have to resort to improvised and unhygienic emergency solutions,” writes the government.

Lucerne city council wants free tampons for schoolchildren

The initiative came from SP city councilor Regula miller. She says: “Toilet paper is part of the basic equipment of every public toilet, so why not menstrual articles?”

This is what it's all about:

  • In future, tampons and pads will be available free of charge at schools in the city of Lucerne.

  • This is intended to prevent embarrassing “emergencies” in everyday life for young women.

  • The initiative goes back to the SP.

  • The canton had rejected a similar initiative in May 2021.

The Lucerne government gives the green light for free menstrual items in public schools. In the future, tampons and pads will be provided in the toilets of the primary and secondary schools in the city of Lucerne. This decision is a response to a postulate by the city councilors Regula Müller and Benjamin Gross from the SP in August 2021.

Postulant Regula Müller is pleased with the government's reaction. In the postulate, she justified the initiative with the fact that “due to the free availability of menstrual articles in public schools, menstruating women no longer have to resort to improvised and unhygienic emergency solutions”.

Canton says no, city says yes

For Müller, the free distribution of tampons is only logical: “Toilet paper is part of the basic equipment of every public toilet, so why not too menstrual items?» The politician also tells 20 minutes that this is important support, especially for girls and young women who are sometimes overwhelmed by the sudden onset of bleeding.

Free hygiene items are not a new topic in Lucerne politics. In May 2021, a corresponding initiative at cantonal level was rejected. Free tampons and pads at public institutions in the canton would “create new inequalities”, was the government’s justification at the time. There will still be no free hygiene items at the University of Lucerne and the cantonal schools. In the city politics, however, the concern was heard. “It's certainly an advantage that we don't have a purely male government in the city,” says Müller. “The city is now leading by example.” The SP politician hopes that the decision will now also have an impact on cantonal politics.

Positive experiences from the pilot project

In some French-speaking cantons, hygiene items are already being given away free of charge. In Zurich, too, there is already a pilot project with free tampons at ten schools. According to the Lucerne government, the response in Zurich has been very positive and has met with a high level of acceptance among young women and their parents. It was also found that no items “in stock” were stolen and unpleasant everyday situations, stress or embarrassing “emergencies” due to missing hygiene items could be avoided.

However, the government does not respond 100 percent to the postulate. In addition to tampons and pads, Müller and Gross also called for the provision of menstrual cups. However, the city would like to do without that.

If the postulate is transferred, the 2022 bill will include one-off acquisition costs for hygiene boxes of around CHF 27,300 and also annual maintenance costs of around CHF 22,000 from 2022 .

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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