Tag Archives: period products act

We should not let Scotland’s period dignity law be overshadowed by unnecessary controversy

Scotland led the world this week as the Period Products Act, which requires councils and educational establishments to make free period products available, came into force.

Although the measure was passed by the Scottish Parliament, the bulk of the credit for this has to go to Labour MSP Monica Lennon. She set the ball rolling by introducing a Members’ Bill and fought so hard to persuade the Scottish Government to back the measure. It took them longer than it should have done, but they got there in the end.

From Holyrood Magazine:

Labour’s Monica Lennon, who campaigned for the provision, said councils and partner organisations have “worked hard to make the legal right to access free period products a reality”.

She said: “This is another milestone for period dignity campaigners and grassroots movements which shows the difference that progressive and bold political choices can make.

“As the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, the Period Products Act is a beacon of hope which shows what can be achieved when politicians come together for the good of the people we serve.”

Back in 2017, Scotland’s  feminist organisation, Engender, held a roundtable discussion on period poverty. Later their response to the consultation on the Bill highlighted the barriers to accessing period products.

It is vital that the provision of free period products not be linked to, for example, the social security system. Poverty is not the sole reason behind women’s lack of access to sanitary products. For example, the link between access to sanitary products and domestic abuse was made by a number of roundtable participants, who explained that the denial of access to products can be a method of control by an abusive partner.

Income and other resources are often not controlled or shared equally within the household. In many cases, women take on the role of acting as the buffer between their children and the impact of household poverty. Put simply, mothers forego their own consumption to meet the needs of their children.

Whilst income level may be one of the contributing factors to period poverty in Scotland, the solutions developed to meet women and girls’ menstrual needs must recognise that slightly increasing household income (e.g., by the cost of menstrual products) will not directly result in women gaining greater access to period products.

Soaring living costs put even more pressure on household incomes so this measure is more needed than ever.

However, this Scottish success story was overshadowed by controversy. There was a huge furore over the appointment of Jason Grant as Period Dignity Officer to Dundee and Angus colleges. Even Martina Navratilova got involved, calling the appointment absurd.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • John Roffey
    I am inclined to believe that it is the Party’s lack of commitment to the climate crisis that deters many voters (and explains Labour’s popularity). This...
  • Ernest
    @Gwyn Williams The Independent for Wales movement YesCymru has always believed that it is about having a free Wales that is able to see its way in the world. W...
  • Jenny Barnes
    no worries, here it is https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/619781...
  • Jenny Barnes
    Could we also promote the new Petition calling for an immediate Election ? link please...
  • Joe Bourke
    The ONS does actually attempt to measure wellbeing ...