24/01/2019 - End period poverty now – Motion to the Women’s Conference
Conference notes that:
- One in 10 girls in the UK are unable to afford sanitary products, and 140,000 of them miss school each year. Some are forced to use old clothes, toilet paper and newspapers or rely on foodbanks for handouts.
- Over a woman’s lifetime, sanitary products cost more than £5,000, or around £13 every month.
- Women on low incomes say they are often forced to choose between buying food or sanitary products.
- Women in prison/police custody have inadequate access to sanitary products, which is a potential breach of human rights and equality law.
- All the above result in safety (risk of toxic shock syndrome), hygiene and dignity issues.
- That no girl or woman should suffer the distressing stigma of being unable to afford sanitary products.
- That no girl should have to miss vital days of her education to avoid the embarrassment of bleeding on her school uniform in front of her peers.
- That menstrual care is a human right. We rightly provide free contraception to all, why not free sanitary products too?
Conference welcomes Dawn Butler’s announcement at Conference in September 2017 that the next Labour Government will provide funding for free sanitary products for secondary schools, foodbanks and homeless shelters but believes this policy should go further.
Conference resolves to call on the Labour Party Conference to extend this pledge in the Party’s Manifesto and to commit to a universal system of free sanitary products across the country.