Students at Munster Technological University are calling for Ireland to give women and trans men the right to free sanitary products in a bid to end period poverty.
The university has launched a campaign called ‘Code Red’ and is installing dispensers on campus to distribute tampons free of charge.
“It’ll provide free sanitary products in public institutions and public places - which is the law in Scotland since only earlier this year and in New Zealand where they provide free period products in schools since only last year,” Lisa Moran from MTU told Newstalk.
“So we are leading the way in terms of the world - which is amazing.”
The Labour party introduced a bill in the Seanad earlier this year, calling for sanitary products to be made free for all.
At the time, Senator Rebecca Moynihan said such an essential hygiene product should be a right:
"When I was on Dublin City Council I introduced a motion that period products would be available within all public buildings.
"They had a pilot project in a number of centres and it's being rolled out this year... and I know other councils have adopted it as well.
"This is essentially about making sure that anybody who needs access to period products has access to period products".
Charity Plan International have previously found that half of women have struggled at times to afford sanitary products
An international trend
The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted for sanitary products to be made free in 2020.
The ruling Scottish National Party had originally opposed the measure, citing concerns over cost and that poorer women from England might travel north to take advantage of the service - a reason mocked as ‘cross border tampon raids’ by the opposition.
However, it u-turned and the first free sanitary products were distributed earlier this year.
In England and New Zealand, school students are also entitled to free period products if they need them.
Main image: A factory worker holds some tampons. Picture by: Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa