In a fantastic move to reduce period poverty, grocery chain Lidl Ireland has become the first major retailer to offer period products free of cost to those who need it.
This initiative will be applicable to customers in the Republic of Ireland from 3rd May this year. Through the Lidl Plus app, customers will be offered a coupon for a free box of pads or tampons each month.
“Since learning more about the growing issue of period poverty in Ireland, we’ve passionately felt that as a family retailer it’s in our communities’ best interest to support young girls and women who are affected by this issue,” Aoife Clarke, head of communications for Lidl Ireland, said in a statement.
“The guiding principle of this initiative is the inherent respect for the dignity of all those concerned, and it is our hope that it will have an impact those who would otherwise have to use less suitable materials or none at all,” Clarke added.
While the retail chain boasts of more than 11,200 stores in 29 countries, this initiative will be restricted to the 168 stores in the Republic of Ireland.
The organization also said that it would make charitable donations of menstrual products to homelessness charity The Simon Communities to ensure people experiencing homelessness, and who may not have access to a smartphone, can still have access to period products.
Apart from these initiatives, it is also working with Ladies Gaelic Football Association to provide free female sanitary products in its clubs across the country with the aim to reach thousands of women and young girls who may not have access to such products on a regular basis.
In November, Scotland became the first country in the world to commit to offering free period products to those who need them. Subsequently, the island nation of New Zealand also announced free sanitary products following successful trials in schools last year.
Despite the fact that menstrual products are essential for women, merely a handful of nations across the world have zero tax added to sanitary products. A few of these nations include Canada, India, Australia and Kenya.
Isn’t this a great move by Lidl Ireland? What do you think? Should other retailer follow suit? Let us know your views in the comments section below.