Period products are essential healthcare items, the provision of which ensures all those who menstruate can manage their period with dignity and actively participate in education, work, sport and society as a whole.
'Here if you need'
Providing free period products in toilet and changing facilities improves access for everyone who menstruates and also reduces shame and stress for those who struggle to obtain these items.
Shame and stigma are huge contributing factors to the issue of period poverty.
Recognising period products as essential and giving them visibility alongside items already provided like toilet roll, soap, paper towels and/or hand dryers actively reduces the stigma attached to menstruation and so reduces the impact of period poverty.
The work being done within the Mid and East Antrim area by volunteers from EqualityPeriod NI and The Hygiene Bank Ballymena identifies period poverty and limited access to period products as issues affecting MEA residents. It's time for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to do their part to affect change, not just for MEA, but for all of Northern Ireland.
We the undersigned call upon Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to make a commitment to improve health and well-being and reduce the impact of period poverty and menstrual stigma. Provide free and accessible period products in all council owned, operated and maintained toilet facilities (including all disabled toilets, all leisure centre and sporting venue toilets & their changing facilities) by backing the retabled motion put forward by Councillor Dr Patricia O'Lynn and Councillor Lauren Gray.
**EqualityPeriod NI and The Hygiene Bank Ballymena would like to acknowledge the assistance and support received from MEA Borough Council and it's representatives in their community and outreach work during what has been a very busy and difficult year for all of us.
Both organisations want to see a roll-out of free accessible period products in the area as soon as possible. EqualityPeriod NI will be contacting individual Council members and asking for their collective support of the retabled motion so this can be achieved.