Dozens of women have taken 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 towels for girls and women in conditions of social vulnerability.
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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 president. Armed with posters and some of them with musical instruments, they have demanded that the veto be lifted and have 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 are going in reverse, it is something unprecedented,” Susana de Oliveira, 47, told EFE.
During the event, the protesters have also donated different types of hygienic absorbents that were provided by them for those most in need.
Wave of criticism
Last week, Bolsonaro vetoed part of a bill approved by Parliament which provides for the free delivery of health 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 pad, according to a study by the Organization of Nations. United (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 have described 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 position against this absurdity,” He has written In their networks, the deputy Tabata Amaral, from the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) and co-author of the proposal.
Bolsonaro, for his part, has justified that he was “forced” to veto parts of the measure because he did not specify the source of the resources destined for the project, an excuse that has been harshly criticized by legislators and even by some allies of the President.
Amid the strong negative impact after the veto, the Government has reported that it was going to “reassess” the “viability” of the distribution of tampons and other health products.