British city pledges to end period poverty

Every schoolgirl in Bristol is to be provided with free sanitary products so that no more girls have to miss school because of their menstrual cycle.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
British city pledges to end period poverty - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Some schoolgirls are missing out on their education. Not because of intentional exclusion or rampant sexism within the school walls, but because they don't have access to pads and tampons.

In a bid to end so-called period poverty and ensure pupils don't miss out on their education during periods, every schoolgirl in Bristol is to be provided with free sanitary products, its council pledged.

Period poverty was uncovered in the UK last year, when a school teacher in Leeds reported that girls were missing school whilst menstruating due to being unable to afford tampons and pads.

Bristol follows the lead of Scotland, where schoolgirls and university students can already access free menstrual products.

It's shocking that these very necessary items aren't available to all. Let's hope the rest of the nation, as well as countries in Europe, do the same.

Details from the story:

  • Bristol City Council pledged to provide schoolgirls with free sanitary products to put a stop to period poverty.
  • The city council's cabinet also agreed to hold a summit next month to encourage local businesses, charities and trade unions to do the same.
  • Research by children's charity Plan UK found that girls across the UK are missing school whilst on their periods. Women on low incomes are also sometimes being forced to choose between food or tampons.
  • Bristol Councillor Helen Godwin, who lobbied for the motion, said: "This issue simply shouldn't belong in 2018 and it is a travesty that we need to tackle period poverty in our city. Too many of our girls and women are unable to afford or access sanitary protection during their period."
  • In Scotland in July 2017, the government started giving out free menstrual products to 1,000 girls from low-income families in Aberdeen.
  • Nottingham City Council has also pledged to provide free sanitary products to schoolgirls.
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