New 'Period Dignity' project' helping to end period poverty in Cork

According to 2019 CSO figures, it is estimated that Irish women and girls spend an average of €132 every year on tampons and sanitary towels.
New 'Period Dignity' project' helping to end period poverty in Cork

Rebecca Foley, Aoife Mulcahy, Molly Nash, Shauna Dillon and Libby Ryan from St Angelas College launching Period Dignity in Holyhill Library, Knocknaheeny, Cork. Photo Darragh Kane

CORK is taking steps to end period poverty with a new ‘Period Dignity’ project being rolled out across the city and its surrounding areas.

Research shows that 50% of young Irish women have experienced issues around affording sanitary products.

This new pilot project aims to combat this by the installation of eight sanitary units, containing complimentary pads and tampons in locations across Cork.

The locations of the eight units are: Cork Foyer Blackpool, Hollyhill Library, Mayfield Library, Glanmire Library, Douglas Library, Ballincollig Library, City Library Library, and City Hall Campus.

These steps taken towards ending period poverty comes thanks to Fine Gael councillor Deirdre Forde, the mayor of Cork City, along with Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus, led by its chairwoman Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Rose Desmond.

Ms Forde said: ‘As the Lord Mayor of Cork and a proud member of the Women’s Caucus, I am incredibly honoured to launch this initiative … This pilot project highlights the work that the caucus aims to achieve, helping to combat the issue of cost surrounding sanitary products.”

According to 2019 CSO figures, it is estimated that Irish women and girls spend an average of €132 every year on tampons and sanitary towels.

Libby Ryan, Aoife Mulcahy and Rebecca Foley from St Angelas College launching Period Dignity in Holyhill Library, Knocknaheeny, Cork. Photo Darragh Kane
Libby Ryan, Aoife Mulcahy and Rebecca Foley from St Angelas College launching Period Dignity in Holyhill Library, Knocknaheeny, Cork. Photo Darragh Kane

“To this day, a certain stigma continues to be associated with periods, with a poor cultural understanding and education within our society,” said Ms Forde. “I am optimistic that this pilot will help break that stigma and help those in period poverty across the city.”

By providing free products for all, this project hopes to help prevent people from having to wear the wrong product, a worse-quality product, or wearing one for longer than is hygienic or safe.

It aims to encourage young people to attend school, increase participation in sport, support good health, and most importantly allow individuals to maintain dignity with the reassurance of knowing products are available if needed unexpectedly.

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