Gransnet forums


Period Poverty

(15 Posts)
GrannyGravy13 Wed 11-Jul-18 09:48:50

I have been noticing across all media that there is an increasing amount of Period Poverty. Young girls are taking time off of school whilst menstruating due to the fact that they are unable to afford sanitary products.

Education is the stepping stone out of poverty, and if these young women are missing 1 week every month, it stands to reason that they will be falling behind in their studies, and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

Do any of you very wise gransnetters know of a charity in the UK focusing on supplying sanitary products to these needy young women?

gillybob Wed 11-Jul-18 10:39:41

Our WI regularly donate sanitary products to our local women's refuge, a homeless project and the local foodbank.

We have an ongoing project where we donate a bag (we call it handbags and gladrags) full of items specific to young women for example sanitary towels, tampons, roll on deodrants (sprays are not allowed), soap, sponges, wet wipes etc.

Not sure if there is a nationwide project though. I would be happy to help if there was. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for these poor young girls.

grannyactivist Wed 11-Jul-18 10:46:17

Check out the Red Box Project who can help you start up a local project in your area.
I have first hand experience of this, as I suspect have many others on Gransnet. As a teenager in the early 60's we had no money to spend on sanitary products and so we used rags. One of the worst experiences of my life was being unable to leave the classroom at the end of the day because I was sitting in a pool of blood and had to wait for everyone else to leave before I could move from my chair. I didn't go back to school that week.

gillybob Wed 11-Jul-18 10:59:31

That's heartbreaking grannyactivist and hard to believe that some young women might be still suffering this humiliation today.

Maybe there should be a scheme in schools where young women can pick sanitary products up for free.

goldengirl Wed 11-Jul-18 11:10:31

There was a suggestion in Parliament once that VAT should come off sanitary protection. Did it ever happen? Or is it still considered a 'luxury' item!!!!
Some schools provide sanitary protection for free but of course it eats into their education budget. However as it affects all women at some point in their lives for a considerable number of years the need should be taken seriously. But it's like public toilet provision - there's no legal obligation on councils to provide them.

Teacheranne Wed 11-Jul-18 11:17:31

I was very lucky to work in a school which provided free sanitary products for our pupils. Anyone could get a pad during the day if they needed one, regardless of their personal circumstances and several people around the school kept a supply. If we thought it necessary, we would discreetly provide enough for the whole period, we tended to know which families genuinely could not afford to buy products. We also has our own food bank and families were referred to it by various agencies.

gillybob Wed 11-Jul-18 11:20:03

Maybe we at Gransnet should start our own campaign to provide sanitary protection free of charge in all schools for those who need it.

glammanana Wed 11-Jul-18 11:23:51

We have a section at our Church foodbank where we can donate personal items we are lucky enough to be able to keep it well stocked,one of our ladies goes on a regular basis for donations to stores and requests items to help keep it topped up and the said stores are very supportive.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 11-Jul-18 12:35:51

Goldengirl I think our parliament wanted to remove VAT on sanitary products but had its hand tied by EU parliament.

Hopefully some other gransnetter will know about this.

gillybob Wed 11-Jul-18 12:38:32

Happy to be corrected but I believe there is a 5% VAT tariff on sanitary products rather than the standard 20%.

gillybob Wed 11-Jul-18 12:39:41

I think many of the big supermarkets cover this voluntarily though.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 11-Jul-18 12:47:38

gillybob thank you

Riverwalk Wed 11-Jul-18 13:30:02

The idea that young girls have to suffer such humiliation in this day and age makes me want to weep.

I agree with gilly supplies should be freely available in schools, just as loo paper and paper towels are.

mcem Wed 11-Jul-18 13:53:53

A pilot scheme in Aberdeen is now being rolled out in Scotland to provide protection for all women in education as well as through FareShare.
Another example of Holyrood's priorities being so different from those of Wasteminster.

travelsafar Wed 11-Jul-18 14:18:29

This is terrible, i will defo be putting some form of sanitary wear in the food bank trolley in my local supermarket tomorrow. How awful for those young girls.sad