Ankara’s CHP-run municipality launches free menstrual pad campaign

Turkish capital Ankara municipality's newly re-elected CHP administration has launched a free menstrual pad campaign as one of the first actions of his new term. Mayor Mansur Yavaş was reelected with a whopping 60.44% of the votes. 

Feminist protestors' sign reads,"Your economic policies are disgusting, not menstruation!"

Duvar English

Turkish capital Ankara’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) administration on April 3 announced its first project after its reelection, a monthly free menstrual pad campaign for Ankara’s women. 

Current mayor Mansur Yavaş was reelected, receiving 60.44% of the votes in the local elections of March 31. 

The Municipality’s Women Information Center announced the campaign through its social media account.

“Access to menstrual pads is every woman’s right,” read the Center’s post. 

Women would be entitled to one package of menstrual pads per month, available at the Women Information Centers, according to the campaign. 

Mayor Mansur Yavaş had also promised to administer free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations for women under 30 and receiving social aid. 

Skyrocketing prices and high taxes on menstrual products have made them less accessible to women. 

Some civil society organizations such as the “Women First Foundation” have also launched campaigns advocating for removing the taxes on menstrual products, which are basic necessities. 

Similarly, the yearly increases in the price of the HPV vaccine also render the life-saving remedy inaccessible for a significant portion of the population. 

Studies have found the vaccine to be almost 100 percent effective in preventing cervical cancer, which kills over 1200 women per year in Turkey.

With the most recent price hike in January, the cost of a three-dose immunization became 11,402 liras ($357). 

An Ankara court back in March 2023 ruled that the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) should reimburse a woman for her HPV vaccination, setting the precedent for many other women who have had to pay a hefty fee for the jab.