Philip Hammond must go Further on Period Poverty

For immediate Release


13 March 2019

Philip Hammond must go Further on Period Poverty

The Communication Workers Union gives a cautious welcome to the announcement from the Chancellor Philip Hammond today that some funding will be made available for free period products in schools and Colleges. However, this does not go far enough to address the very real issue of period poverty, which results in girls and women, not all of whom are at school or college having to literally choose between buying food or buying menstrual products. It certainly does not begin to address the problems faced by women forced to miss work or school because they have no access to period products in their own home.  Trish Lavelle , CWU Assistant Secretary for Equality and Education  explained the CWU stance: “Young women, women workers and women going through the menopause are particularly hard hit and we have heard the most appalling stories of women forced to use newspaper or a pair of socks, leaving themselves at risk of infection whilst suffering real distress and indignity. And the irony of the Chancellor’s announcement today is that this all stems from the failed and discredited Tory austerity measures, which have seen in work poverty increase and benefits for the most vulnerable slashed. Women should never have been faced with this humiliating and punitive environment in the first place. ”

The CWU has been campaigning on this issue for well over a year and the campaign to make period products free has gathered wide and strong support across the trade union movement, within the Labour Party and also with a number of employers. “We are extremely proud that our own CWU representatives at a grassroots level are successfully making the case for employers to provide free period products in the workplace. The CWU is giving full support to Labour MSP Monica Lennon who is bringing forward policy in the Scottish Parliament to make Period Products Free. We see this as the first step to a UK wide policy that ends period poverty for all women, once and for all. We will not stop campaigning until we end the blight of period poverty. “