Chester MP, Chris Matheson has welcomed news this week that schools and colleges across England will be able to order free menstrual products as part of a scheme to tackle period poverty.
Chris has been campaigning for this change for over a year, as part of Unite the Trade Union’s Period Dignity campaign.
Chris said: “I am delighted to see that menstrual products have been accepted as a basic requirement in schools across England. This is a huge step forward for the period dignity campaign and for women’s rights here in the UK.
“This is about changing attitudes towards periods, ending the stigma surrounding talking about periods.
“Female students should not have to go through the stress of being caught without menstrual products during a busy school day.”
Chris began his campaign back in October 2018, raising the issue with the Leader of the House in Parliament. Chris called on the government to set the standard across the country by ensuring that all MPs offices provide menstrual products free to staff and visitors. Since then, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced that 3,200 staff and all visitors to MPs offices will have access to basic menstrual products at work. This includes every constituency office across the country.
Chris said: “Last year, I successfully campaigned to ensure MPs provide menstrual products free to their staff. Now, schools are doing the same. I am delighted that free menstrual products will now be available as one of the normal products provided at school, like soap and toilet paper.
“The next step is working with employers to ensure that female employees get these same basic requirements. At the end of the day, if an employer asked you to bring your own toilet roll to work, there would be uproar. Why are tampons and sanitary towels any different?”
“I will continue working across Chester to encourage employers to follow the lead of our schools in providing menstrual products at the workplace.”