“We must challenge period stigma”: My thoughts Ahead of Global Menstrual Health Day (Monica Lennon MSP)
This year, I marked Global Period Day by delivering a keynote speech at a menstrual justice salon, organised by Professor Marcy L. Karin.
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act which came into legal effect in 2021 ensures that free products are available to anyone who needs them, including schools, colleges, and universities.
There is so much to celebrate for Scotland when it comes to menstrual justice- I continue to be inspired by the dedicated campaigners and activists who made the Period Product Act a reality and continue to fight for equal opportunities for those who menstruate.
In 2016 when I was first elected and began asking the Scottish Government questions about period product affordability and now other world leaders are using us as a framework. The Period Products Act means that nobody has to be held back in life simply because they menstruate. Period products are a necessity and must be free and accessible for all if we are to have a fair society.
But we must challenge the stigma that continues to surround menstruation if we want to make a real impact. This begins with talking about periods in the classroom, around the dinner table, and in the pub.
Scotland is the first country in the world to provide free products, and this should be celebrated. It is now time to continue the fight for menstrual justice by ensuring that young people see menstruation as a normal fact of life and not something embarrassing or shameful.
After a busy week in Parliament, it was uplifting to spend time with so many like-minded individuals and to hear about the ongoing work being done globally to achieve period equity.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.