Scottish Universities Ahead of the Game in the Fight to End Period Poverty
Despite the government’s 2018/19 priority funding proposal to end period poverty, some Scottish universities are already supporting female students by providing sanitary care in student unions.
MSP Monica Lennon’s proposed bill hopes to boost the work being done by some Scottish universities who took action after emerging reports claim some women with no access to sanitary care resort to using old clothing and newspapers.
The National Union of Students (NUS) and universities fully support the proposed bill, calling for assurance from the government that sanitary products are made accessible for homeless women, no matter what system is put in place.
Vice-President of Strathclyde University Students’ Association Taylor Wong said: “The bill is highlighting the progressiveness in Scotland and making a tremendous impact on people’s lives.
Free access to sanitary products are already available at the Advice Hub and toilets on different levels of the Strathclyde Union.”
“I’m delighted period poverty is on the agenda with the bill for free provision. It has definitely raised the profile of this issue.”- Kim Long
“Within our union, not only do we adhere to NUS policy which advocates the removal of tampon tax, but the equality and diversity committee passed a motion in favour of free sanitary provision for all.
MSP Monica Lennon stated during her campaign that the free provision bill would make Scotland a “world-leader in tackling period poverty”. The SNP commits to introducing free sanitary products for all women including in Schools, Colleges and Universities to avoid girls missing out on education.
Scottish Green’s Party councillor Kim Long said: “I’m delighted period poverty is on the agenda with the bill for free provision. It has definitely raised the profile of this issue.”
She also commented on her changes to the motion put forward by councillor Jen Layden last year: “I was delighted to be able to speak on the issue to ensure transgender people are included too and that menstrual cups are seen as innovative and long-term solution.”
Giancarlo Bell, Liaison Officer at Glasgow University Red Alert Society said: “Media reporting on period poverty has been very positive and I think the media surrounding Monica’s campaign has encouraged several businesses and organisations, such as Glasgow Airport, who are now pledging to provide free sanitary products in public spaces. The measures outlined in the proposed bill are excellent.”
Bell continued: “When GU Red Alert was founded, there was next to no work being done in Scotland on this issue.
“It has been fantastic seeing over the past few years, how this issue has grown from a debate on the fringes of politics to headline news.
“I hope there will be some sort of free and universal distribution of products in pharmacies and health centres too.”
Free sanitary products courtesy of GU Red Alert can be collected at their stall in the University of Glasgow’s Queen Margaret Union.
You can read the Proposed Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) bill here: