Brazil Takes Another Step Against Menstrual Poverty

Brazil Takes Another Step Against Menstrual Poverty
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels


Camilla Souza

Women’s Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed on March 8, during a ceremony on the occasion of International Women's Day, a decree providing free pads for 3.6 million poor women, reversing a veto he made five months earlier of a similar bill passed by the Brazilian Congress.

In October 2021, Bolsonaro faced widespread criticism from opponents and personalities across the country for refusing to combat menstrual poverty. According to the President, the project had no defined funding source, which the authors of the text denied.

While the project targeted more than five million beneficiaries, the decree plans to provide sanitary pads to 3.6 million women and girls, including in schools, with a budget of 130 million rials (23.5 million euros).

The women will be divided into three groups:

  • women in street situation
  • women between 12 and 21 years old who are serving socio-educational measures
  • students between 9 and 24 years old enrolled in schools of the Health at School program (Programa Saúde na Escola, in portuguese)

Sources and Further Reading:

CNN: Bolsonaro assina decreto para distribuição gratuita de absorventes íntimos < >

UNFPA Brasil: Pobreza Menstrual no Brasil - Desigualdades e Violações de Direitos < >

Politize!: “Pobreza menstrual”: entenda a questão de saúde pública no Brasil! < >