According to research published by Plan International Ireland, 50% of Irish girls between the ages of 12 and 19, struggle to afford sanitary products.

In 2019, The Women’s Parliamentary Caucus brought a motion on Period Poverty before the Dáil and the Seanad. Our motion included a call for the provision of a range of free and safe sanitary products in all public buildings. We were delighted at the time that it received the unanimous support of both houses.

Government has now signalled its support for the Free Provision of Period Products Bill which is scheduled for debate in the Seanad in the coming days.

Further development of the Bill will take account of the findings and the recommendations of the report of The National Strategy for Women and Girls sub-committee on Period Poverty once published. Following that, there will be all-party support sought for the Bill through The Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.

This is progress. I also want to thank Claire Hunt from Homeless Period Ireland for her ongoing work on this issue.

We need to change that awful fact that 50% of Irish girls struggle to afford sanitary products. Let’s provide these products, free.