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Preventing period poverty


Sian Walkling, Marketing Manager at Initial Washroom Hygiene, talks to us about ensuring a hygienic washroom experience for women.


Every year it is estimated that 137,000 girls miss a day of school in the UK due to a lack of access to sanitary products. The affordability of feminine hygiene products is a significant issue in the UK, with up to one in 10 girls living in ‘period poverty’.


Last year Scotland became the first country in the world to make free sanitary products available to all pupils and students, thanks to a new £5.2m scheme. However, there is still a way to go in ensuring girls and women across the UK have access to basic sanitary products each month.


Programmes and initiatives are cropping up around the country to help ensure all women have access to the hygiene products they need. For example, earlier this month, the Free Periods project launched in a bid to ensure no one should miss school because they do not have access to sanitary products. Educational facilities have generally led the charge in the fight against period poverty; however, the issue isn’t unique to schools, colleges and universities. In the workplace, facilities managers and employers also have a duty of care towards their visitors and employees to ensure they provide appropriate washroom facilities for all users.


A step forward


Increasingly, organisations are focusing on the fact that female sanitary products are as essential as toilet paper, soap and hand drying facilities in the washroom. Following the lead of Scotland, some Councils across the UK are starting to do their bit in ensuring that local authority-run facilities have complimentary tampons and sanitary towels in their female washrooms.


Some sports clubs and stadia have also begun placing baskets containing complimentary sanitary products in their washrooms, in recognition of the need to view these items as washroom essentials. The ‘On The Ball’ campaign, which was set up by three Celtic supporters last year, now has five Premier League football clubs signed up to provide female fans in their stadium with free sanitary products.


Another option for facilities managers wishing to provide easy access to complimentary sanitary products in their premises is via the installation of a dedicated small


38 | WASHROOM HYGIENE twitter.com/TomoCleaning


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