MP David Drew backs campaign for free period products
Press release issued by the CWU
Stroud MP, David Drew has joined the call by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to make period products free for anyone who needs them.
At the parliamentary event in Westminster on Wednesday 12 September, Mr Drew met with representatives from the Union to hear about their campaign to bring forward the day when no one has to rely on charity to tend to their period needs.
The CWU highlighted the fact that basic period products will cost around £5000 over a woman’s lifetime, and that many people who cannot afford them are reliant on charity or resort to using unhygienic alternatives. At the same time, it is estimated that 137,000 girls in the UK skipped school last year because they didn’t have the period products they needed.
Mr Drew heard about ground-breaking plans in the Scottish Parliament to give universal free access to period products across Scotland. The proposed system, which has been piloted in several localities, will run in the same way as people currently access free condoms.
Mr Drew said after attending the event: “It’s a scandal that children in Gloucestershire and across the UK are missing school days because of period poverty, and that people here are going without these basic necessities.
“There really is only one way to end period poverty and that’s to make these products universally and freely available. Scotland is leading the way on this, and we must follow their example.”
Beryl Shepherd, CWU President said: “We’re delighted that David Drew MP has pledged to help us in our campaign. This is a human rights and gender equality issue. We will also be urging that employers be more responsive to the issues faced by many of our members, who are outdoors workers and not always equipped with what they need, or told the location of toilets when they are out and about”.