Current Affairs

Labour to end period poverty by providing free sanitary products in foodbanks and homeless shelters

Meka Beresford September 24, 2017
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Period poverty

(Photo by uklabour/Instagram)

Labour has announced plans to end period poverty by providing free sanitary products at schools, food banks and homeless shelters.

Shadow woman and equalities minister Dawn Butler unveiled the policies at the Labour Women’s Conference yesterday.

tonithetampon menstrual art
(Photo by tonithetampon/Instagram)

Butler explained that hygiene products should be made available to everybody who menstruates regardless of age, social status of background.

Speaking to HuffPost UK she said that the campaign aims to end period poverty “in our lifetime”.

She added: “It is a scandal that women on low incomes are having to deal with the additional burden of struggling to afford sanitary products, and young girls missing school once a month because they can’t afford sanitary protection.

Related: This trans non-binary artist is making art with their menstrual blood

“The next Labour government will provide funding for free sanitary products for secondary schools, foodbanks and homeless shelters, to ensure young and vulnerable women have access to sanitary products during menstruation.”

The Bloody Good Period campaign provides sanitary products to refugees, asylum seekers and homeless people.

A spokesperson said that the policy was essential as “pads and tampons are not cheap, but for anyone with a period, they are an absolute necessity”.

“The fact that many are forced to resort to using toilet paper, old scraps of fabric or nothing at all is disgraceful. So we’re bloody thrilled to hear that Labour are committing to do something about it – this can’t come soon enough,” they added.

The policy will bring landmark change for women and trans men.

It is especially important for homeless women and trans men as they find it increasingly more difficult to obtain sanitary products.

Periods can be an especially dysphoric time for trans people.

Related: 5 trans guys who shared their beautiful transition stories to inspire others

Trans YouTuber Jamie Raines made a video about getting a period four years into testosterone treatment.

He explained that he was “frozen” in the moment he got the period and found it “hard to make myself deal with it”.

“It was an absolutely horrible moment. My heart just dropped. I started feeling panicky. I was completely frozen on the toilet. I found it so hard to stop thinking about it and make myself get on with my day.

“I found it so hard to make myself deal with it I was sat there crying and freaking out,” he added.

Related topics: homelessness, LGBT, period, period poverty, Trans, trans men, Transgender

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