SDLP Councillor Stephanie Quigley has said that the recent announcement from the Scottish Government that it would be providing free sanitary products for all students is a welcome step in battling gender inequality and period poverty.
Cllr Quigley commented:
“It is totally unacceptable that in 2018 we are aware of girls having to miss school or use alternative methods such as socks and toilet roll because they cannot afford sanitary products.
“A similar policy in Northern Ireland could go a long way in reducing stress and financial strain on those who simply, for whatever reason, cannot afford to purchase these essential items.
“As welfare reform stifles household expenditures, we must do all we can to ensure girls and young women are not left with the embarrassment of being denied access to basic sanitary needs.
“Scotland are leading the charge in terms of innovative policies to make the lives of the Scottish public easier. It makes it all the more frustrating that here in Northern Ireland we cannot utilise devolution in the same manner as the political deadlock rolls on.”
“John Dallat MLA and I have today written to the Department for Communities and Department of Education to request that funds be released to mirror this policy here in Northern Ireland.”