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Free sanitary products ‘a small but significant step to tackling gender inequality’

We have signaled our full support for Monica Lennon MSP’s proposals to provide sanitary products free of charge in locations such as schools, colleges and community and health centres across Scotland.

Responding to Lennon’s consultation on the Proposed Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, Amy Woodhouse, our Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, said: “A universal approach to free provision of sanitary products is a small but significant step towards tackling the gender inequality that still exists in our country.”

In our response we acknowledge the financial burden of sanitary products, particularly for girls and young women who are experiencing poverty, and recognise the proposals as important for upholding UNCRC rights to education and the best health possible. We know, for example, that too many girls are ill-equipped to deal with their periods when they start, which may mean missing out on school and education on a regular basis. We also know that a lack of clean sanitary products can cause toxic shock syndrome.

We have expressed some concern with use of the term ‘period poverty’ used in the consultation, which is potentially stigmatising and not in keeping with the universal approach of the Bill.

 

Read the full consultation response here.

In the next issue of Children in Scotland Magazine, Alys Mumford and Emma Trottier from Engender highlight why we need to ensure better access to sanitary products and appropriate legislation.

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