A coalition of politicians, campaigners, and NGOs have called on the UK Government to tackle period poverty in an open letter.

The letter was signed by more than 50 signatories including cross-party Members of Parliament (MPs). It included demands for free period products to be provided in public buildings, including libraries, community centres and schools.

Despite current provision for under-18s in English schools, over 32 percent of girls surveyed said that period products were not available at their school. This leads to thousands of school days being lost each year due to period poverty.

Bloody Good Period figures highlight 87 percent in demand for free period products in 2022. The UK Government previously pledged a fund in 2019 to tackle period poverty around the globe but it has still not announced a plan for delivery.

Equality campaign group EMPOWER, who sponsored the letter, is calling on the free provision of period products in Scotland to be emulated in the rest of the UK.

Co-signers include leading campaign groups Bloody Good Period, Irise International and Freedom4Girls, in addition to period product providers NaturaCare and DAME.

Campaigners have argued that those on the lowest or no income at all are the most vulnerable to period poverty, particularly because of the financial impact of the cost-of-living crisis. This letter kickstarts EMPOWER’s campaign to eradicate period poverty in the UK.

Kirsten Oswald MP, SNP Shadow Spokesperson for Women and Equalities, said:

Period poverty is even more pressing because of the cost-of-living crisis, so the more that we can do in the here and now, and in taking this conversation beyond these islands, the closer we can come to addressing this problem for women and girls all over the world.

I am proud of Scotland for being the first country in the world to make it possible for people to have access to free period products, which has been a real cross-party initiative. This conversation must continue to happen on an ongoing basis until period poverty is in the mainstream.

Kirsten Oswald MP, SNP Shadow Spokesperson for Women and Equalities

The full open letter and list of signatories can be found here.

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Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and Family History Zone. After obtaining a bachelors degree in English literature and media studies, Joanne went on to spend two years of her life writing and teaching English in China and Vietnam. Prior to joining Black and White Trading, Joanne was a marketing coordinator for luxury property in Brighton focusing on blog writing, photography and video creation.