Period Poverty

I have long campaigned on the issue of period poverty and I am proud to support my friend Monica Lennon MSP’s campaign to end period poverty. periodpovertyscotland.weebly.com/

I apparently became the first member to tell the chamber that I was on my period.

It’s good that this has had so much coverage, but that a woman has said she’s on her period – something that happens to half the population every month – has made such big news just shows how far we need to go to break the taboo.

In 2000, the Labour government cut VAT on tampons from 17.5 per cent to 5 per cent. That was a good start, but 18 years later it’s time to take the next step and zero-rate them. Government should also fund our local councils to ensure free sanitary products are available in public buildings.

It would be a fitting tribute to the women who, exactly a century ago, won us the vote if my generation of female parliamentarians could make that happen.

See below the speech I made in parliament where I raised the issue of period poverty.