The first Festival of the Menstrual Cycle is the turning point that we have been waiting for in Italy too

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Spain marked an important socio-cultural transition. Not that something hasn’t already moved in recent years regarding awareness and attention towards the menstrual cycle, both on the health and taboo front, but when the discussion is linked to the theme of rights and conquers them, we can truly say that we have reached an epochal turning point.

The approval by the Council of Ministers of the draft law on the sexual and reproductive rights of women also introduces permits for those who suffer from “painful” and “disabling” menstruation. Spain is the first country in Europe to do so, but it will not be the only one, because Italy could soon follow its example: in the past, it was a bill has already been made which aimed to grant a maximum of 3 days per month of menstrual leave to women who suffer from more painful cycles (all certified by a specialist doctor), however there was the fear that it could paradoxically be yet another discriminating factor against women by the employer; now, however, come on Change.org was launched by Alexia Altieri a petition to collect 5000 signatures which calls for the right to smartworking for women suffering from dysmenorrhea. Today, the time seems ripe for a topic that in any case concerns women’s health and for this reason the petition aims to make the possibility of working in smart working / teleworking during the 2/3 peak days of the cycle officially and legally recognized.

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The world’s first menstruation festival

That talking about menstruation is no longer a taboo, but a social and cultural necessity linked to the well-being of women is increasingly evident also in Italy. Just in Milan, from 17 to 19 June, the Menstrual Cycle Festival, first festival in the world entirely dedicated to menstruation and everything that revolves around the female cycle. An appointment where you can inform, compare and have fun through a series of talks, workshops, shows, concerts, stand-up comedies, live shows and DJ sets. Not only that: we will talk about endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Tampon Tax, menarche, transphobia, menstrual health and hygiene, environmental impact, gender discrimination and conflicts. Topical issues addressed together with experts and figures who deal with menstrual disclosure.

The fundraiser that also helps Ukrainian women

Organized in three exceptional locations – il Urban Cultural Seathe New Armenia and the Rob de Matt – the Festival is financially supported through the fundraising campaign launched by Bottom productions. In less than 2 weeks, more than 2,700 euros have already been raised and over 50 supporters involved. And there’s more: contributing to the campaign by June 15th it will be possible to donate 1 to 3 packs of sanitary napkins that will be sent to the border with Ukraine.

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Ukrainian women lack sanitary pads
Menstruation management requires health precautions that are difficult to implement during a conflict. For this reason, there are associations active in the supply of tampons and sanitary pads that today are helping Ukrainian women to mitigate the emergency.

11 thousand euros, the unfair cost of menstruation

But speaking openly about menstruation also offers another important advantage: that of addressing the issue of menstrual povertywhich restricts many women from purchasing menstruation management products because they are deemed too expensive.
In 2021, the results of a survey reported by the brand INTIMINATES, dedicated to women’s intimate health care, reveal that 1 in 5 menstruating women in Sweden could not afford menstrual protection on one or more occasions. In the United States, however, 1 in 4 women financially struggle to decide between the purchase of menstrual products and meals. Finally, 3 out of 10 girls in the UK struggle to afford or access menstrual products. A phenomenon not so far from us, but about which we still talk too little.

Underwear with protective equipment for critical days on a pink background.ISvyatkovsky

Considering that women on average menstruate for 2,281 days in their life (for a total of more than 6 years), it is calculated that they could find themselves spending 11,000 euros on menstrual products. In most cases, healthcare products around the world are considered luxury goods, i.e. items not considered a necessity, and therefore taxed accordingly. In this regard too, however, petitions have arisen to reduce or eliminate taxes on menstrual products. Scotland was the first European country to remove this type of taxation, followed by many countries. And we hope that Italy does not stand by and watch.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

The taboos to eliminate on the menstrual cycle to like yourself more as a woman

Enough taboo: talk about menstruation!

Uganda, at school children build handmade sanitary pads

Reduced the tax on sanitary towels, but only on biodegradable ones

What if men also menstruate?

It is called a «menstrual disc» and is the alternative to a menstrual cup

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Source: Vanity Fair

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