Speak Out champions are a group of girls and young women who make up Girlguiding Scotland’s youth panel. They act as spokespeople for the organisation and share their views on issues that matter to them and other girls across the country.
They’ve always been passionate about ending period poverty for good and have supported Monica Lennon MSP over the years in her quest to make this a reality. Check out this blog by Speak Out champion Eloise and find out more about what part they played!
Making sure there’s access to free period products is one of the most important moves the Scottish government has made. By getting rid of the idea that period products are something of a luxury so many more individuals have been able to get access to the resources they need like pads, tampons etc. It especially helps those who might get their period for the first time without warning somewhere like school. This helps improve overall school attendance as those who may have experienced embarrassment or found themselves unable to attend school due to lack of access of period products, will now no longer have to face this issue.
The impact the Free Period Products (Scotland) Act has had on those experiencing period poverty is tremendous. Our Girlguiding Scotland Girls in Scotland Survey found that 25% of girls had experienced period poverty or knew someone who had, with 13% of girls as young as 13-25 having experienced period poverty themselves. By making free products available we have taken one further step towards equity in both the financial world and healthcare world, as well as opening the door of opportunity to those who may have once felt held back by their period.
As a member of Girlguiding Scotland and a Speak Out Champion I’m aware of how much hard work from our passionate members went into supporting and fighting for this bill to pass. Between speaking on behalf of our members and girls at the Scottish Parliament, conducting surveys, creating a campaign to raise awareness within units and even helping girls take part in supporting women’s shelters to provide products, we as an organisation fully support the Act and can already feel the positive affect that it is having.
By Eloise, Girlguiding Scotland Speak Out Champion