All Welsh schoolgirls will be given free sanitary products in a bid to end period poverty

Girls in primary and secondary schools in Wrexham and across Wales will be provided with free sanitary products thanks to a new Welsh Labour Government initiative.

Up to £2.3 million worth of funding will support over 141,000 girls in Welsh schools and Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths has praised the Welsh Government’s ongoing commitment to tackling ‘period poverty’ – where women and girls struggle to afford basic sanitary products.

The Welsh Government has acted and introduced the Period Dignity Grant for Schools as research suggests some young women and girls find themselves missing school because they cannot afford the essential items.  This latest funding will ensure sanitary products are free-of-charge and accessible in the most practical and appropriate way possible.

Schools will also be encouraged to support reusable, environmentally sustainable products to allow maximum choice for learners.

The funding, which will immediately be made available for local authorities to administer, is the latest in a line of measures introduced by the Welsh Government to help address the problems surrounding period poverty.  Last month, the Welsh Government announced free sanitary products will be available to all patients in Welsh hospitals.  The latest funding means the Welsh Government has committed £3.4 million in total for period dignity after £1.1 million was provided to schools and communities last year.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “It is totally unacceptable that young women are missing days at school because they cannot afford sanitary products.  Research suggests the issue affects a significant number of girls but every young woman should have access to something so basic.”

“The Welsh Government has demonstrated its commitment to tackling inequality and eradicating period poverty with a series of measures introduced in recent times.  This latest essential funding will help remove an unnecessary barrier to education and help make period poverty a thing of the past.”

Research from children’s charity Plan International shows 15% of girls struggle to afford sanitary products, 14% have had to borrow from their friend and almost 20% have had to use a less suitable product because cost was an issue.