Petition Follow Scotland and make period products free for all.

Jersey needs to follow Scotland and make period products free for all and make them accessible for everyone who needs them.

Now more then ever women are experiencing poverty due to the coronavirus pandemic but they’re still having to pay for products; this has crippled many families financially.

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As part of a project for my Queens Guide award I have been researching period poverty and it shocked me how many women and girls need period products but cannot afford them.

I’m campaigning to make a real difference in people’s lives and standing up for those who don’t have the power or strength to fight for a fundamental human female monthly necessity.

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Ministers responded

This response was given on 21 December 2020

The Minister welcomes this petition and recognises that everybody should be able to access menstrual products, but cannot commit to following the approach taken in Scotland.

The Minister believes that everybody should be able to access safe and hygienic menstrual products and recognises the dignity that this affords. The Minister welcomes this petition but cannot commit to following the approach taken in Scotland without a better understanding of the situation in Jersey, including in relation to the needs of individuals, the cost implications and options for free provision.
Free period products are currently provided in 28 schools in Jersey by the Red Box Project and have been since 2019. It will be important to work with those schools and the Red Box Project to understand uptake amongst school pupils and to consider likely uptake in other settings and amongst other groups before any decision can be made by the States Assembly to endorse free provision of period products.
Consideration would also need to be given to the range of products that could be made available, to distribution logistics and to other issues that act as barriers to access or wellbeing. Research undertaken by Plan International indicates that, in the UK, there are a range of associated issues including knowledge gaps, attitudes, stigma and pain management which may, in turn, be influenced by factors such as education, religious and cultural practices and social media messaging.
Whilst there is some anecdotal evidence which suggests there may be barriers to access and wellbeing in Jersey, we need to know more if we are to properly understand the issue and meet needs. We must also consider the potential provision of period products alongside existing arrangements for other essential items.
The Minister has, therefore, asked officers to undertake further research on this issue with a view to reporting findings to the States Assembly within the term of this Government.

Deputy Judy Martin
Minister, Social Security

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in the States Assembly

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