Dozens of women took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro this Wednesday in protest against the veto of the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, to the free distribution of sanitary napkins for girls and women in conditions of social vulnerability.
The protesters gathered at the end of the afternoon in Cinelandia Square, a traditional site of congregations in the center of the city, where they criticized the "lack of sensitivity" of the agent.
Armed with posters and some of them with musical instruments, they demanded that the veto be lifted and called for Bolsonaro’s departure.
"We have a president who is against that, who does not help, who only takes the basics away from the population. We’re going in reverse, it’s unprecedented", Susana de Oliveira, 47, assured Efe.
During the event, the protesters also donated different types of hygienic absorbents that were provided by them for those most in need.
Last week, Bolsonaro vetoed part of a bill approved by Parliament that provides for the free delivery of sanitary products to women in vulnerable situations, such as those who live on the streets, prisoners or low-income adolescents who study in public schools.
The project is part of a broad package of laws to promote menstrual health in the country, where one in four girls have already stopped going to school because they cannot buy a sanitary napkin, according to a study by the Organization of the United Nations (UN).
According to the Senate’s calculations, the project would benefit some 5.6 million Brazilian women, which is why the presidential veto generated a wave of criticism from the citizen, political and social sectors, who qualified the president’s response as "absurd".
"Bolsonaro’s almost comprehensive veto to the PL (Bill) of absorbents is an attack on the dignity of girls and the most vulnerable women. Everyone has to take a stand against this absurdity"Deputy Tabata Amaral, from the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and co-author of the proposal, wrote in her networks.
Bolsonaro, for his part, justified that it was "obliged" to veto parts of the measure because it did not specify the source of the funds earmarked for the project, an excuse that was harshly criticized by legislators and even by some allies of the president.
Amid the strong negative repercussions after the veto, the Government reported after that it was going to "revalue" the "viability" of the distribution of tampons and other sanitary products.