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Scotland providing tampons and pads to those who can’t afford them in bid to beat ‘period poverty’

Australian politicians, take note!
Scotland providing tampons and pads to those who can’t afford them in bid to beat period poverty

The tampon tax costs the average woman $1000 during her life.

While most of us quite rightly get our knickers in a twist because of the tampon tax (excuse the pun!), spare a thought for those who can’t afford to buy sanitary products with or without GST in the first place.

A pilot scheme in Scotland will see free sanitary products given to women/girls from low income households.

The Scotsman reports they’ll be distributed via schools and food banks by Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE).

Although it’s just a 6-month scheme, it’s a huge step towards Scotland becoming the first country in the world to provide free feminine sanitary products to low-income women and girls.

It comes after teaching unions in the country said period poverty can lead to pupils and students missing school and college.

Indeed, a charity in another part of the UK, Freedom4Girls, started handing out free sanitary products as girls were missing school when they were on their period.

One girl told BBC Radio Leeds how she coped with her time of the month:

“I wrapped a whole tissue roll around my underwear, just to keep my underwear dry until I got home,” she said. “I once sellotaped tissue to my underwear. I didn’t know what else to do.”

Tina Leslie, a public health worker and part of Freedom4Girls succinctly said:

“We need to give these girls dignity back.”

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While campaigning to scrap the tampon tax is high on our agenda and will help everyone in the cost of sanitary items, we can’t help but be wowed by the Scottish government’s initiative and hope other countries begin to follow suit.

Here in Australia, we have our own dignity movement, ‘Share the Dignity’, started by Rochelle Courtenay in 2015 which soon garnered momentum. The organisation aims to provide homeless women and women in domestic violence shelters with sanitary items. ‘Share the Dignity’ holds fundraisers and initiatives and allows women to donate sanitary items to those who desperately need them

It’s certainly something we all need to be thinking about and putting pressure on those in power. After all, half the population has, has had or will have a period.

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