Ending period poverty - our consultation response

As part of our campaign to end period poverty we made our voices heard in response to MSP Monica’s Lennon’s consultation on this important issue.

We shared our views as part of the consultation process on a Member’s Bill that would introduce a universal system for provision of sanitary products and create a duty for schools, colleges and universities to provide free sanitary products in toilets.

Here are the highlights from our response:

1. We support free provision of sanitary products

We believe having free access sanitary products won’t just help to end period poverty but will make it easier for girls and women to participate in all aspects of everyday life – from school and work to extracurricular activities like volunteering and sports.

2. We believe free sanitary products should be easily accessible to all who need them.

That’s why we support a universal system of provision such as a card that would mean anyone who feels they need free sanitary products can access them.

We believe limiting access or individuals to prove their eligibility would ultimately mean those in need might go without and would add to the stigma around periods and period poverty.

3. We want to see free sanitary products in the spaces girls and young women spend their everyday lives – particularly in schools, colleges and universities.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and happy at school and a lack of access to sanitary products shouldn’t hold anyone back from getting the most out of their education. That’s why we support proposals to make sure sanitary products are available in school, college and university toilets.

We also support making these products available in other places too – from sports centres and workplaces to libraries and community halls to ensure everyone can fully participate activities outside of school and work like sports and exercise, taking part in their local youth organisation or volunteering.

Here are some of your comments on period poverty:

I think that periods are a very important part of girls’ lives and they should be taken more seriously by places of education, and places really should provide free product support to anyone who needs them.

Girlguiding Scotland member, age 17

Periods cause enough pain and issues already, especially to young people who have just started and aren’t used to them. Not having sanitary products because they can’t afford them is only adding to the problem. Young girls are missing school due to their period which, if they miss school frequently, could have a big impact on their education and their life in general.

Girlguiding Scotland member, age 19

That it’s a real problem that needs to be tackled – politicians need to use their unique position to provide concrete change and ensure that girls don’t have to lose out on education and life just because of a biological function that they have no control over.

Girlguiding Scotland member, age 16

Period poverty is unfair and unnecessary – everyone deserves fair access to this most vital health product.

Girlguiding Scotland member, age 17

Find out more…

Read our full response here and find out how you and your unit can get support the campaign here.