Move to provide free sanitary products in South Lanarkshire's schools

Campaigning - Carluke councillor Lynsey Hamilton, Monica Lennon MSP and Lesley Ewing, youth worker at Kirkton Church, Carluke.
Campaigning - Carluke councillor Lynsey Hamilton, Monica Lennon MSP and Lesley Ewing, youth worker at Kirkton Church, Carluke.

South Lanarkshire Council is proposing to provide free sanitary products in schools to tackle "period poverty".

Education resources committee chair Katy Loudon announced today (Thursday) that the local authority support in principle the provision of free sanitary products to school pupils.

She said that such an initiative would “provide dignity for families whose budgets do not stretch to sanitary protection.”

The executive director of education has been asked to investigate the best way to issue free, easily accessible sanitary products in South Lanarkshire’s secondary schools.

The announcement was welcomed by South Lanarkshire Labour.

Councillor Lynsey Hamilton said: "Period Poverty is an issue I have campaigned against, and it's time sanitary products were freely available to young learners."

"Last week I had a meeting with Council Leader John Ross to propose this in our schools and he committed to take this idea to the SNP Group meeting.

"I am delighted that the SNP Group agreed to take it forward and I look forward to hearing the proposals of how it will be implemented.

"I'm confident the cross-party agreement between Labour and the SNP will deliver progress quickly for the benefit of our pupils."

And she added: "Periods are not widely discussed as a health and wellbeing issue and that needs to change.

"In this day and age, girls should not be missing class because they can't afford tampons in over-priced dispensers or because no sanitary products are available.

"Monica Lennon MSP is consulting on a proposed Member's Bill to legislate for a world-leading scheme to end period poverty and I was pleased to take part in the launch event in the Scottish Parliament. Monica has secured the backing of trades unions and other prominent organisations."

"I'm proud that here in South Lanarkshire, along with other councils, we are willing to lead by example."

And Councillor Loudon, who has also been campaigning on the issue, said: "It is simply unacceptable that any woman or girl in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary protection due to poverty."