Ending period poverty must go beyond words on a page
13 March 2019
Seanad Leader and spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage
The Labour Party’s Rebecca Moynihan has welcomed moves by the Oireachtas Women’s Caucus to bring public attention to the growing phenomenon of period poverty.
Last year, Dublin City Council passed measures proposed by Councillor Moynihan to provide free sanitary products in Dublin City Council owned buildings.
Cllr Moynihan said:
“It is extremely welcome to see TDs from across the divide recognise that period poverty is a very real issue in Ireland.
“Last year Dublin City Council approved measures I proposed to provide free sanitary products in DCC buildings such as offices, swimming pools and community centres. A pilot project in a cluster of DCC buildings is due to begin shortly.
“With over 50% of young women and girls struggling to afford products; homeless women not being able to afford or indeed access sanitary products regularly and women in direct provision having to fight to get adequate products, it is no wonder this issue is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
“However, It is not enough for the Oireachtas to just debate and pass a motion to highlight the issue and then for it to be cast aside once the next issue comes to the fore.
“If the Government were serious about eradicating period poverty they could take two serious actions in the next budget. Firstly, they could introduce free sanitary products in schools. It is a scandal that young girls are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products. Secondly, the Government should examine the VAT on sanitary products that aren’t pads and tampons. Having a broad choice of products available at a lower price point benefits all women.
“We can reduce and eradicate the levels of period poverty in our lifetime. It needs to go beyond words on a page; we need to see real measures.
“Periods are not a luxury for women and girls. It is a part of everyday life and we need to make life easier for those who may be in vulnerable positions.”