I’m supporting the Communications Workers Union (CWU) campaign for free universal access to period products.
It is estimated that basic period products cost £4,800 over a lifetime, and that 137,000 girls in the UK missed school last year because they could not afford to tend to their periods.
The CWU has a motion going to Labour Women’s conference on this issue, and the union is supporting Labour MSP Monica Lennon with her Member’s Bill in the Scottish Parliament which seeks to make period products freely available in the same way that condoms are now.
There is some excellent work going on in this field locally, including Caldicot Town Council’s scheme – spearheaded by Labour Town Councillor Rachel Garrick – to provide cheap and reusable sanitary products to local young women and girls. Newport City Council have also expressed their commitment to tackling period poverty through a similar scheme to the one implemented in Rhondda Cynon Taf, where all girls aged 9 and above are given access to free and accessible sanitary ware.
I’m pleased to support this important campaign – we need to end period poverty and gender inequality.