2023-08-25 10:28

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Tory Government Policies Are The Cause Of 'Period Poverty'

Speaking at the CWU General Conference on Sunday in Bournemouth Jean Shorrocks condemned the Tory Government's on the dignity of women and trans-gender men (female to male) who suffer every month with the indignity of having to 'stuff socks and newspaper down their pants' because they can't afford to buy sanitary protection!

Pic: Jean ShorrocksThe fact is that these items are basic human need for the millions of women and girls who are within menstruation age, and are in poverty despite many of them actually being in work or in a family where one of their relatives is working.

It is a disgrace that in 2018 such a thing as 'period poverty' as it is called; is a factor in the lives of millions of women.

The risks to their health range from fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection and Urinary Tract Infection which might lead to cervical cancer. Women who are forced into unhygienic practices due to being unable to afford sanitary protection are also vulnerable to infertility.

Conference Motion 1, proposed by the Women's Committee was debated on Sunday morning on the first day of CWU Annual Conference 2018:

Conference recognises that “period poverty” has existed for generations across the United Kingdom.

In recent newspaper articles, reports have found that girls have been missing school to deal with their period within the confines of their own homes, and women have been using alternative materials, including “newspapers” and “socks” because they simply cannot afford to pay for sanitary products. Not only does this raise questions about the impacts on girl’s education but it also highlights the serious threats to women’s health.

Whilst conference welcomes the Labour parties promise to invest £10m to ending "period poverty" in schools in England, more needs to be done to help vulnerable women and girls on low incomes who sit outside the parameters of the educational system.

Conference notes that in July this year, The Scottish government's pilot project designed to tackle "period poverty" was introduced offering free sanitary provisions to women and girls on low incomes. Conference welcomes this progression and recognises that this may be the first step to help provide sensitive and dignified solutions to make these products easily accessible to those who need them.

Conference agrees that we need to end period poverty and improve access to sanitary products right across the country. Therefore the NEC are instructed to campaign for pilot schemes in other regions of the country and lobby ministers and all relevant bodies for a consultation Member's Bill proposal that will seek to give all women in United Kingdom the right to access these products for free, regardless of their income.

Women’s Conference

During the debate, the point was made that women who are in transition to male, don't lose their ability to menstruate during the first stages of the long process they need to go through; and that they too can face the indignities of 'period poverty'.

The motion was carried unanimously and the debate can be watched here:

The film, Free Period, mentioned in this debate can be viewed here

Source: Unionsafety / CWU

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