‘Pe­riod poverty’ is a fi­nan­cial bur­den to women - Cllr

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

IN a State as well off as ours it is unac­cept­able that any­one should be un­able to, or strug­gle to, buy san­i­tary prod­ucts.

That’s a the view of Sinn Féin Coun­cil­lor Chris MacManus who raised the is­sue of ‘pe­riod poverty’ at the Oc­to­ber Coun­cil meet­ing last week.

“I am ask­ing that the Government com­mit the De­part­ment of Health to work to­wards the prin­ci­ple that san­i­tary prod­ucts should be ac­ces­si­ble to those who need them,” he pro­posed.

Ac­cord­ing to PLAN Ire­land, a de­vel­op­ment and hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tion that ad­vances chil­dren’s rights and equal­ity for girls, nearly 50 per cent of teenage girls across Ire­land con­tin­u­ously strug­gle to af­ford san­i­tary prod­ucts month-on­month. In ad­di­tion, PLAN also re­ported that 61 per cent of those sur­veyed have missed school be­cause of their pe­riod.

“Such a sit­u­a­tion is de­mean­ing, de­hu­man­is­ing, and a com­pletely unac­cept­able re­al­ity,” he said.

“While Ire­land has a zero-rated VAT on san­i­tary prod­ucts for women, many women who are on low in­come, home­less or in Di­rect Pro­vi­sion are still un­able to af­ford them.

“We in Sinn Féin be­lieve that the first step on the road to free san­i­tary prod­ucts should be their pro­vi­sion to all sec­ond and third level stu­dents as well as all those in re­ceipt of a med­i­cal card,” he said.

In­de­pen­dent Cllr De­clan Bree sec­onded the mo­tion.

Fine Gael Cllr Sinead Maguire said she would query the stats and said the cost of san­i­tary prod­ucts had come down.

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