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In the absence of toilets, SNCF drivers were offered menstrual panties

While Spain is about to introduce a three-day menstrual leave, in France, the SNCF offers its railway workers to use washable panties to compensate for the absence of toilets or the difficult access to sanitary facilities. The idea is far from having aroused the adhesion, reveals The Parisian Saturday, May 14, which reports a stir and rejection of female drivers and the CGT. It all started with an email sent in mid-April by the department in charge of gender equality to the 394 female drivers. Entitled “Menstrual panties, test phase”, reports the daily, the email would explain that an experiment of “the famous washable panties acclaimed by Generation Y”, which can be kept for several hours, would be in progress “as part of the interviews on the subject of access to sanitary facilities”. The group would even be looking for volunteers to test the panties, an alternative to conventional sanitary protection.

For this railway worker from the CGT, that amounts to saying: “Put on your pants and […] keep it for eight hours!”, protested the young woman, questioned by Le Parisien. The latter deplores having had to pee standing between two wagons, driving a freight without toilets, on several occasions. According to another employee, access to toilets has been requested since the arrival of women behind the wheel of trains, without success. “Finally, they ask women who join the SNCF to become men, and to adopt the constraints including those of go piss like them!”, accuses this woman, freshly retired, questioned by the daily.

For one of the leaders of the initiative, the idea would have started from a request from railway workers driving freight trains that do not have toilets, who would have explained having to wear tampons and towels for abnormally long periods. “That’s how the idea came to fund for them, because it’s expensive, menstrual panties,” he explained to Parisian, adding that the group continued to work on long-term solutions. term, such as the installation of passes opening all the station toilets. In the meantime, and despite the controversy, four volunteers will test the organic fair trade fabric panties and their clip-on pads in the coming weeks.

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