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Scotland secures period dignity for all...





The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, received unanimous backing this week [1] The campaign, spearheaded by Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson Monica Lennon, puts a legal responsibility on local authorities to make period products free to access for all in Scotland. This is a proud moment for Scotland as this is the first county in the world to do so.

Period poverty affects women and girls all over the world. Anyone who menstruates needs access to period products and safe, hygienic spaces in which to use them. It is also important that they have the right to manage menstruation without shame.

PCOS Vitality were lucky to be invited to attend a recent event with Monica Lennon, organised by PKAVS, which gave us some insight into the grassroots campaigning that has been done in the lead up to this momentous occasion which builds on earlier schemes [2].

The campaign used a rights-based approach and acknowledged that signposting girls to foodbanks is not dignified. Communities got involved and local colleges started providing free period products and subsequently the local council followed their example and so it has grown to what we know today.

The pandemic has amplified marginalization and vulnerability for many and has brought period poverty to the fore. The pandemic has highlighted the need for access to menstrual products, services for health and sanitation, menstrual-related information and support from schools and health professionals and a need to combat shame and stigma associated with menstrual health [3]. PKAVS even developed, The Tampon Taxi, an innovative service, which saw the delivery of products directly to people’s homes without the need for any contact – there is just no stopping!

We hope to see free period products introduced here in Northern Ireland too. One organisation currently campaigning for the introduction of free period products in schools is The Homeless Period Belfast. You can sign their petition by clicking on the link below. Now get signing and let’s get caught up with Scotland on this issue.


https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/free-period-products-in-ni-schools-menstruationmatters?fbclid=IwAR0d8-p0yACK3YdYBPkvI0AcGz-W6o7drCZHkC-2q2NyTSyT3aeiMBcD380



© PCOS Vitality 2020

References

[1] Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill - Parliamentary Business : Scottish Parliament, (n.d.). https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/112914.aspx (accessed November 25, 2020).

[2] PKAVS Enhancing lives connecting communities in Perth and Kinross, (n.d.). https://www.pkavs.org.uk/ (accessed November 25, 2020).

[3] B.J. Crawford, E. Gold Waldman, Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity, n.d. https://www.theweek.in/leisure/lifestyle/2020/05/28/these-up-girls- (accessed November 25, 2020).

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