Women who face difficulties through poverty or abuse have an often unrecognized issue that sometimes they’re too embarrassed to mention, and that is providing themselves with often expensive but absolutely essential sanitary products. And now Adeje Ayuntamiento has acted to help.
The council says that during a recent meeting of the council’s Equality Council, Adeje councillor for equality politics Carmen Lucía Rodríguez del Toro discussed the importance of a bank of feminine hygiene products as a basic necessity. As the council says : “these products are not ‘luxury items’, but are generally overlooked when compiling a list of the needs of women who are suffering economically”.
The idea was inspired by a similar initiative in the University of La Laguna where the ‘Invisibles’ collective is based. They carried out a collection of these items and made them available to homeless women. Adeje Ayuntamiento says that it is “aware of the existence of many inequalities with regard to women in our society, and in many cases these products carry a high price and in fact many women simply cannot afford them. So, we want to contribute through the ‘Help Bank’, and make these products available. Even though they might not be included in the donated family shopping basket, they are indeed a basic need”.
Rodríguez del Toro said “Facua (the consumers association) carried out a public study in 2015 which found out that these items are taxed at a very high rate, 7% in the Canary Islands. The association compared prices of over 100 different packets of sanitary towels, and 70 boxes of tampons in six supermarket chains, and the comparison revealed that as well as huge price differences between brands, women were paying ‘luxury’ prices for basic need items. Since then there has been a claim in with central government for a tax reduction on these items, to 4%”.
All items donated will be stored in Adeje’s Help Bank from where they can be distributed to those women who need them. Among the products will be sanitary towels, tampons, menstrual cups, wet wipes and special soaps. During April there will be a number of different collection points, including the public libraries in Adeje town and Armeñime, the Los Olivos Occupational centre, the offices of the department of equality politics (in the modern building beside the main post office), the borough’s cultural centres and the Pink Room, in the School of Security and Social Harmony (Seguridad y Convivencia). The Tenerife Hotel Housekeepers association is also taking part in the campaign with collection tables in different hotels throughout the south of the island.
For further information on helping call the department on 922 756244.