In recent weeks, the Scottish Government officially rolled out a scheme providing the right to free period products, a monumental step towards ending period poverty. Ireland must follow their lead in combatting this issue, said a Dublin Senator. Senator Mary Seery-Kearney has been campaigning for the provision of a range of free, adequate, safe, and suitable period products across our schools and colleges, and has raised this issue in Seanad Éireann.
Senator Seery-Kearney said, “The Period Products Act came into force in Scotland recently, 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. “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”, concluded Senator Seery-Kearney.