Senator calls for Government to introduce free period products

Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free last week.
Senator calls for Government to introduce free period products

A Fine Gael Senator is echoing calls for free period products following the Scottish Government’s decision to roll out a scheme providing the right to free period products.

Senator Mary Seery-Kearney said the scheme is a monumental step towards ending period poverty, and Ireland must follow their lead in combatting this issue.

Senator Seery-Kearney said, “The Period Products Act came into force in Scotland last week, after the law was unanimously approved in parliament two years ago. It compels local governments and educational institutions to provide period products to those who need them.

“Targeted alleviation and support for women during menstruation is vital, especially as we approach a new school year.

“At a local level, I have been working to ringfence funding for the provision and distribution of period products to food banks, women’s groups and have worked with individuals who distribute products to direct provision and women’s refuges.

“Globally, 500 million people who menstruate live in period poverty and are unable to access menstrual products because of financial constraints.”

Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free. There is now a legal duty on local authorities to provide tampons and sanitary pads to “anyone who needs them”.

The products are distributed through the council and education providers as part of the Period Products Act. The Act came into force last week after MPs approved the bill in November 2020.

Senator Seery-Kearney addd: “Earlier this year, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris progressed key recommendations from the ‘Period Poverty in Ireland Report’ with the roll out of free period products in further education and training sectors. This was a significant initiative and showcased our commitment to eradicating this issue. Scotland shows us how it can be done.

“However, the fight is not over and we must strive to end this devastating reality for many women across Ireland.”

 

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