A piece in today’s Times by Kat Lay, Health Correspondent. It’s stated in the article that surveys suggest women spend an average of £156 a year (£3 per week) on sanitary products. It follows that the cost of sanitary products of ALL women – rich, poor, those in between – should be paid for by taxpayers, mainly men.
Doctors have adopted gender-neutral language to argue that sanitary products should be handed out free to all “menstruating people”. [J4MB: Hmm. If only there was an English word to describe “menstruating people”.]
The British Medical Association will begin lobbying the government “to implement the free provision of sanitary products” after delegates at its annual conference in Brighton voted overwhelmingly for the proposal.
“While largely experienced by women, period poverty is also an issue in the lives of transgender and non-binary people,” Eleanor Wilson, the medical student who proposed the motion, said. She was explaining that her speech would be gender neutral.
It comes a week after Cancer Research UK dropped the word “woman” from its cervical screening campaign. It instead urged “everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix” to go for their smear test. Critics accused the charity of putting identity politics above public health, warning that not everyone was familiar with the term cervix.
The motion said: “Reliable access to sanitary products is essential for the health and wellbeing of the menstruating population.” However, it noted, “the current system for distribution can leave those most vulnerable with no option other than to go without”.
Campaigners say that homeless women and domestic abuse victims may be unable to find the money they need to buy sanitary products. Surveys suggest that women spend £156 a year on average on the products.
Ms Wilson said that the move would “make the statement that access to sanitary products is a basic human right”.
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