Scotland is planning to offer free sanitary products to all students
This is a fantastic idea.
The Scottish government has said that it plans to offer free sanitary products to all of its students.
The £5.2m (€5.7m) scheme has been created in an effort to banish period poverty.
Approximately 395,000 students at schools, colleges and universities across Scotland will now have access to free sanitary products.
Hey Girls, a social enterprise company set up to tackle period poverty has been a major driving factor in the new scheme.
The company, which launched in January this year, is supplying sanitary products directly to a number of local authorities including the City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow city council, South Lanarkshire Council, West Lothian Council and Stirling Council, as well as Glasgow Caledonian University.
A recent survey carried out by Plan International showed that nearly 50% of teenage girls across Ireland struggle to afford sanitary products on a monthly basis.
Organisations like Period Poverty Ireland have been fighting for the Irish government to follow Scotland's lead and make free sanitary products available to young girls and women but as of yet no mention of any such initiative has been made.
The majority of student unions across the country offer students free condoms, so why can't sanitary products also be made available to students?
Charities like The Homeless Period help to provide homeless women and those in crisis with period products but that doesn't cover the vast amount of young girls and women living within tight budgetary restraints, and in fairness, no charity should have to.
Young girls and women should not have to worry about missing class because they have no sanitary products to get them through the day. I know at my secondary school the office always kept some spare sanitary towels available in case of emergency but it should not fall upon the school to take money out of what is probably already a limit budget to provide these necessities.
What do you think of Scotland's scheme for students and do you think it is something that the Irish government should be doing in schools and colleges?