Glasgow City Council hosted a virtual event today (12 January) to launch its public consultation on the future rollout of free period products across the city. The event was streamed from St Paul's High School where pupils have been extremely active in supporting the work to reduce period related stigma and have played a crucial role in shaping local and the city-wide policy on free period products.
The launch event featured various key speakers who have supported the work around period dignity both nationally and locally, including Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Maureen McKenna, the former Executive Director of Education for Glasgow City Council, Georgie Nicholson and Daisy Williams from Hey Girls, a Scottish based social enterprise period product supplier, and senior pupils from St Paul's High School in Glasgow.
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Act 2021 places responsibility on local authorities and education providers across the country to make period products accessible and free of charge for anyone who needs them. The Act will come fully into force by January 2023 and will ensure that everyone in Scotland who menstruates can have reasonably convenient access to period products as and when needed.
Local authorities are obliged to consult with citizens who require access to period products. Glasgow will consult with its pupils, the public and partner organisations/third sector organisations as part of this process and was one of the first local authorities to trial free products in schools a few years ago.
The event also marked the national launch of the 'PickupMyPeriod' app which allows users to identify locationas across Scotland, where free period products will be available. The event included a live demonstration of how to use the new app, developed by Hey Girls and funded by the Scottish Government through their education arm 'My Period'. Hey Girls products are all sustainably sourced, reusable and plastic free.
Schools in Glasgow have provided free period products to pupils since 2017. This was initiated as part of a pilot in four secondary schools - Castlemilk High, Hillpark Secondary, St Paul's High and Smithycroft Secondary - and has now been extended to all 30 secondary schools in the city. To facilitate the roll out, the council teamed up with Hey Girls which supplied supplementary educational materials including booklets and posters to help assist in breaking down the stigma and taboo surrounding periods/menstruation.
In addition to the provision of free period products in schools, the council has also continued its working partnership with Simon Community Scotland to increase period friendly points across the city, extending this to multiple council and community venues. Each point offers a range of Hey Girls Period products, new underwear and wipes, where people can help themselves to what they require without the need to ask.
Councillor Jennifer Layden, City Convener for Community Empowerment, Equalities and Human Rights, said: "Period products are a right, not a luxury. The monthly expenditure for period products is simply not affordable, nor sustainable for many individuals across the country.
"Securing fairness and restoring dignity in relation to periods is at the heart of this consultation. This is aided by the introduction of the new PickupMyPeriod app which provides essential information to users on where they can access free period products from locations across Glasgow.
"I am extremely impressed by the pupils at St Paul's High School for their dedication and determination to help address the stigma associated with periods.
"This consultation provides a platform for all citizens to have a say in shaping the future provision of free period products."
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: "The App is a fantastic tool that will help anyone who needs access to free period products to easily find them in places across Scotland.
"I'm thankful for the support of Glasgow City Council in implementing access to free period products in their schools and communities. Young people who need access to period products have also been crucial in developing ways to access products to meet their needs, and I'm grateful to them sharing their views."
Please click the following links to access the relevant consultation on Period Dignity:
The Consultation closes on 2 February 2022 at 17:00.
The PickupMyPeriod app can be downloaded for free on mobile devices here: