Bill introduced to make period products free in Ireland
This would be huge.
A Bill has been introduced that would make period products free in Ireland.
The Period Products (Free Provisions) Bill was introduced to the Seanad by Labour senator Rebecca Moynihan, and would make pads and tampons freely available in schools, education centres, and other public buildings.
Scotland made history last year as the first country in the world to make period products free. Senator Moynihan is hopeful that Ireland can make similar progress.
“Period injustice can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of women, girls and trans people," she said. "The objective of this legislation is that all who menstruate should be able to access period products, at no cost, as and when they are required.
“Period products are not a luxury item and should be accessible to all who need them. This is a common sense piece of legislation which will ensure that young women in particular can access different types of period products easily, and with dignity."
According to Moynihan, the average Irish person spends approximately €61.39 on period products every year. "But the real cost of this is much higher," she said. "Painkillers, laundry products and contraceptive pills. This is a huge additional financial cost, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society."
Period poverty has become an increasingly prevalent issue in Ireland, and the world, in recent years. Studies have shown that many girls avoid going to school because they do not have access to pads or tampons, while others still feel shame when they menstruate.
“In 2021 it should not be the case that people who don’t have access to money are missing out on basic sanitary products," said Moynihan.
"We can reduce and eradicate the levels of period poverty in our lifetime, and this Bill aims to make meaningful change for those who menstruate. Periods are not a luxury. It is a part of everyday life and we need to have period justice for all people.”