Why Period Poverty?
Research from charity Freedom4Girls shows that thousands of young women are missing school every month because they are unable to afford feminine hygiene products. A survey by Plan International UK showed that one in ten women or girls aged 14 to 21 in Britain cannot afford sanitary towels.
What We Did
Medway Labour Group submitted a motion to full council which proposed that Medway Council write to Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, to express our support for providing free menstrual products for all school girls in receipt of free school meals.
We also asked Medway Council to review the budget with the aim of providing funding for all of Medway’s schools and academies to provide menstrual products for school girls who are in receipt of free school meals.
The Tories watered down our motion, but we have still made some headway by bringing this issue to the attention of the council. We are still championing this issue at Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and hope we can help erase the stigma attached to periods as well as help improve girls and young women’s access to education during their period.
Our members have set up Red Box Project donation boxes in locations across the Towns, with the aim of ensuring that every school has access to a red box.
"All women, regardless of age, background, or social status, should be able to access the hygiene products they need. Some might find this uncomfortable, but we need to talk candidly about these issues and come to progressive solutions." Cllr Dan McDonald, Councillor for Gillingham South