MSP welcomes further action on period poverty

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has welcomed further funding to increase the number of places where free sanitary products are available.

The announcement was made by Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell and means that between now and for the next financial year, a total of £4million will be made available to local authorities, who will deliver the expansion.

It will increase the roll-out of the Scottish Government’s world leading action and access beyond schools, colleges and universities.

Local authorities will work in partnership with other organisations to meet local needs and increase availability.

Ms Martin has been a campaigner for action on period poverty and providing free access to sanitary products including a resolution at SNP Party Conference in 2016 calling for the introduction of an ‘S-card’.

In 2017, Aberdeen became the city chosen for a pilot project providing free sanitary products across several regeneration areas in the city.

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “The Scottish Government has led the way with access to sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities.

“It is excellent news that it will now go even further by increasing the number of places where these vital products are available which could help to reach more people on low incomes.

“Period poverty is a real issue for many women who have to decide between feeding their family and purchasing sanitary products. Access to products should be a basic right afforded to everyone and I am pleased that an issue I’ve been incredibly passionate about will now be put in to practice supporting more girls and women.”

Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA's Community Wellbeing Spokesperson said: "COSLA welcomes the wider roll-out of free sanitary provision across our communities. Extending provision beyond education settings will help ensure that no one experiences disadvantage, anxiety, stigma or embarrassment because of lack of access to suitable products.

"COSLA, and our member councils, were amongst the first organisations in Scotland to offer free sanitary products and this wider role out further enhances this provision."