We’re launching a campaign to end period poverty in Scotland, adding our voice to some other amazing organisations already doing great work in this area.
The impact of poverty can often by a hidden problem but according to the Trussel Trust over 133,000 people attended a food bank last financial year. Women and girls living in poverty in Scotland cannot afford tampons or sanitary towels and are being forced to resort to using newspapers and socks. In fact, a new survey from Plan International UK found one in five girls have changed to a less suitable sanitary product and one in seven have had to borrow products from a friend due to cost issues.
What can you do to help?
Keep products in your meeting place
The new Plan International UK survey also found that around one in 10 girls have been unable to afford sanitary products so how about having a small number available in the toilets where ever your unit meets? We want girls to have the best possible experience in guiding, so whether their period arrives unexpectedly or they were unable to buy enough products to last the duration – let’s do our bit to make girls’ lives easier.
End the stigma!
Being a young girl going through puberty can be confusing enough without a new ‘secret’ to keep. Why not talk about periods with your unit you could try the resources from Betty here or here. It is important to remember that girls can start their period from as young as 8 but many don’t start until they are 15 (or older). If you’re using these resources you might want to let parents know first.
Help your local food bank
Foodbanks don’t just provide food they also provide toiletries. Why not plan a washbag collection with your unit and drop these off at your local foodbank, you can find where you nearest one is here. Find out what to include here.
Write to your MSP
Reach out to your local MSP about the issue to see what can be done in your area. Find out more here.
Find out more
Want to learn more about period poverty and how Girlguiding Scotland members are campaigning for change? You can read out response to MSP Monica Lennon’s period poverty consultation here.