Free tampons, pads and condoms in Luxembourg toilets
Luxembourg's capital city installed free sanitary products in a handful of both male and female public toilets in an effort to enhance gender equality and spark a conversation around menstruation.
The dispensers installed on Thursday in five female and male public toilets all include tampons, sanitary napkins and condoms.
“It’s a strong message for equality between women and men, because of the fact that we are not only giving hygienic products for menstruation but also condoms,” Maurice Bauer, the alderman responsible for gender-equality affairs at the city of Luxembourg said.
“We help both genders and spread a strong message towards equality, because we do not want young girls who are too afraid to ask their parents for sanitary products to not have access to any, and we do not want boys or girls not using protection because they do not have money for condoms,” he said.
Still in its pilot phase, the project will provide access to the products during a six-month trial, with dispensers available in toilets at the Place de la Constitution, Place du Théâtre, Cercle Cité, Champ du Glacis and the municipal park near the "Pirateschëff" playground.
According to the BBC’s Tampon Tax Calculator, menstruating people in the UK spend an average of €1730 in a lifetime for sanitary products.
In November 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free. Luxembourg still has to assess the future of the project, though Bauer hopes one day to install the dispensers in restaurants and other place that attract lots of visitors.
Underscoring the need for the project, Luxembourg still faces gender-based disparity. The country has one of the lowest shares of female managers in the workplace in the European Union, official data showed in December. Just 27% of managers at Luxembourg companies were women in 2020, a share better only than Cyprus and the Netherlands, Eurostat said in a report at the time.