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 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 period 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 period 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).
The language we use is very important when it comes to helping girls talk more freely about periods. Using euphemisms and referring to ‘feminine hygiene’ or ‘sanitary products’ makes girls feel like periods are something to hide.
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 our response to MSP Monica Lennon’s period poverty consultation here.
If you’re keen to publicise this campaign in your unit or anywhere else you can download this poster.
MSP Monica Lennon’s Free Period Products Bill has passed the first stage of the vote at Scottish Parliament! We are one huge step closer to making history and becoming the first country in the world to pass this type of legislation
Girlguiding are taking action too!
Girlguiding have been inspired to take the campaign to help end period poverty up to a UK level by joining our quest to tackle the stigma and end the shame connected to periods. They’re calling for:
- Governments across the UK to provide dedicated funding for schools, colleges and universities to provide period products to pupils and students who need them.
- Girlguiding members and supporters across the country to take our pledge to talk openly about periods so that no one feels embarrassed or ashamed about periods.
- All pupils should receive the same information about periods in schools, and what to expect in puberty must be part of the new comprehensive relationships and sex education school curriculum.