Calls for free period products across Sheffield as one in five young women cannot afford them

Councillors are pushing for Sheffield to become a ‘period aware’ city with free sanitary products as one in five young women cannot afford them.
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Councillors Jayne Dunn and Julie Grocutt submitted a motion to full council next week urging Sheffield Council to commit to looking at how period poverty, shame and inequality can be addressed.

They were alarmed that in a poll of 1,000 UK girls aged 14 to 21, more than one in four were struggling to afford period products and nearly one in five were unable to afford them.

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They said: “As a result, period poverty is a serious issue for women in the city which disproportionately affects groups who already face barriers accessing support, including ethnic minority groups, refugees and asylum seekers, people with disability, young carers and young people in care – creating indignity and a significant mental health burden through stigma.”

Sanitary products.Sanitary products.
Sanitary products.

The motion urges the council to: explore ways to supply free period products, call on schools to join the government’s free period products scheme, develop a menstrual leave policy, create a ‘period equality charter’, lobby the government to fund free period products in all public buildings and encourage local businesses and organisations to make similar commitments.

The motion also had several demands to make Sheffield more supportive of women experiencing the menopause. This included the chief executive developing a plan within the next three months to incorporate the GMB Menopause Smash the Stigma Workplace Policy.

Full council will take place on Wednesday, November 2 from 2pm.

The full agenda for the meeting and link to watch the live webcast can be found here: