As soon as you bring up the issue of eradication period poverty or the free provision of sanitary products, it naturally creates a debate: but the comment I have heard most in response to this issue is “well men get free condoms” - but what does that actually mean and how does it fit into the context of this debate and subsequent idea of universal access to free sanitary products?
Well to begin with, the statement is true: you can access condoms for free. That’s the purpose of the c-card - anyone can pick up one of these cards up and take it along to any of the registered dispensary points. Not only that but you get to pick from 11 different types with the scheme boasting that on your first time using the C-card you will receive a variety and so you know to find out what best suits you.
Monica Lennon MSP’s consultation on how we actually implement universal access to free sanitary products has taken inspiration from the C-card scheme. Just like the c-card, this would be available to all who want it. When taken to the relevant dispensing point, there would be a choice of what sanitary products you would prefer.
And this is where the crucial part comes in and why only by implementing universal free access to sanitary products will we be doing ALL we can to eliminate period poverty from our society - creating that equality that is truly available to all.
There are families now across Scotland with 2, 3 or maybe even more daughters who are struggling to cover the cost of sanitary products. If means tested, they would not get access to whatever benefit would entitle them to free sanitary provisions and this is just one example why this would not be the benefit of Scotland and the campaign to eradicate period poverty.
We see people across our country turning to food banks for sanitary products and we of course have a duty to them to do all we can to ensure that in the future no person is forced to go to a food bank at all. But we also have a duty to those currently on the brink, struggling by, just making it - but not at that stage YET of having to access a food bank.
With rising living costs we see everyday that more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. We can take a stand and do something now to do what is best for Scotland in tackling the growing problem of period poverty. Make free access to sanitary products universal because it’s the right thing to do.