Glasgow has been leading the way in the provision of free period products since 2018 when a pilot – shaped by young people – was rolled out across the city’s 30 secondary schools to help break down barriers and the stigma surrounding period inequality.
Since then great strides have been taken to develop the council’s role in expanding the provision across the city and in line with the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 passed by the Scottish Government in November 2020.
This has included establishing links between the secondary schools and the primary and selected nursery schools in their local areas to see what the demand is as well as extensive provision in communities across Glasgow and in conjunction with the Simon Community and their period friendly points initiative.
Free products are available from council buildings, Glasgow Life venues, Police stations and HSCP offices and new venues being looked at include local third sector organisations in order to extend the reach to as many women as possible.
Councillor Christina Cannon, City Convener for Education, Communities and Equalities is fully supportive of this important piece of equalities work and the next steps.
Councillor Cannon said today: “Our city has been at the forefront of the huge change in the way that we talk about periods and period equity.
“Glasgow has led the way in providing free products – first in schools and then rolled out across our communities – making a big difference in the lives of girls and anyone who menstruates.
“Having to miss school, college or university or even to function in daily life because you can’t afford sanitary products is against a woman’s human rights.
“Glasgow’s policy has put a stop to this and means that anyone in the city – regardless of their personal circumstances – will never have to suffer the stigma of this again.”
The report presented to elected members at the City Administration Committee today – Wednesday 22 June – also highlights the results of a recent public and pupil consultation carried out extensively at the beginning of the year.
The consultation coincided with the launch of the Scottish Government’s Pick Up MY Period app that is available to download and shows all venues close to the person’s current location which stock free products.
As Councillor Cannon concludes: “This is an extremely important piece of work and we have come so far but will continue to look at ways in which to expand provision and meet any new requirements of the legislation.
“The working group will continue to monitor and evaluate the success of the service and continue to use a variety of channels to communicate any new developments.”