Rules: MPs don’t care anymore

From the start, they warn: yes, the decision to work on menstruation in the National Assembly may seem “Surprising, even confusing”. But deputies Laëtitia Romeiro Dias (LREM, Essonne) and Bénédicte Taurine (LFI, Ariège) defend it loud and clear: they delivered a parliamentary information report on the rules to the delegation for women’s rights on Tuesday. Their work is the result of several months of hearings and travel on a subject.of general interest“, Point out the authors, who note “That it raises multiple questions and that it involves important issues, both in terms of health and economically“.

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Although more and more present in the public debate, the rules have never been the subject of such a comprehensive report, which draws up in 100 pages a “Overview of related issues”. “We don’t easily talk about rules in society. It is our role as elected officials to highlight the issues that we think should be brought to the table. “, defends Bénédicte Taurine before Release. Quit to send bouler “A certain number of blockages and reluctance” : as the authors remind us in the preamble, it is not so far back in time when we thought women who were able to rot meat and even keep caterpillars and locusts away … With this work, the rapporteurs hope “Normalize the subject” and, above all, to significantly improve the daily lives of women. “It is clear that the insufficient management of the question of menstruation contributes to perpetuate the inequalities between men and women», They hammer.

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Legitimate concerns

The matter is of importance: half of the menstrual period on average more than 450 times during their life. The two elected officials submit around fifty recommendations for concrete action on the lives of women. Several of them relate to the composition of periodic protection: in a notice issued in June 2018, the National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health Security (ANSES) pointed out the presence of chemicals (dioxins, phthalates, pesticides) in several types of products, although none of them exceeds sanitary thresholds. The report recommends “To require manufacturers to carry out regular analyzes of their products in search of these substances“, Analyzes that would be checked at regular intervals by the law enforcement agency and ANSES, and made public by specifying the threshold detected for each of them.

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Faced with the legitimate concerns of consumers, the report analyzed the market for labeled products “Biological” allegedly more “Clean”. However, believe the co-rapporteurs, this label can be misleading, even lying: “Only cotton is organicNot protection in full, they say, calling for more transparency.

Need for better information

Another point, “Risks due to improper use of personal protective products“, Mainly toxic shock syndrome. This relatively rare phenomenon is due to the presence of a golden staph producing a particular toxin called TSST-1 in the vaginal microbiota. If a woman carrying this toxin keeps a menstrual cup or tampon for too long, the bacteria can proliferate in the vagina, which can lead to serious complications or even death if this disorder has diffuse symptoms (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash skin) is not diagnosed in time. In mid-January, a 17-year-old Belgian teenager died there. In 2014, around twenty toxic shock syndromes were identified in France. Currently, each manufacturer indicates in the instructions the maximum recommended wearing time, but this can vary (from four to eight hours). Hence the need, according to the two deputies, to harmonize the recommendations and to better inform women, by referring to the High Authority for Health in order to issue clear good practices. Via a pictogram on the packaging?

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Finally, the fight against menstrual precariousness must be a “Top priority”, so does “Dignity of women”, say the authors, who suggest installing vending machines in stations, metro stations, baths or pharmacies, accessible by credit card or via prepaid cards made available by associations for the most precarious users.

In general, the report stresses the need to “Better inform” on menstruation, why not by means of a big campaign or by raising awareness among schoolchildren from the sixth grade (on average, the subject is only tackled in the fourth, when many girls are settled well before). “It is necessary to rehabilitate menstruation and the female sex”, insists the report.

Virginie Ballet


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