The government has announced that free sanitary products will be made available in schools from September.
In a bid to tackle period poverty, Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement in his Spring Statement.
The news comes as concerns rise over warnings of girls missing school or resorting to desperate measures during their periods.
Speaking about the news, Hammond said, “In response to rising concern by headteachers that some girls are missing school attendance due to inability to afford sanitary products, I have decided to fund the provision of free sanitary products in secondary schools and colleges in England from the next school year.”
The announcement follows Minister for Women and Equalities and Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt’s new campaign launch aimed at tackling period poverty globally.
Mordaunt launched her campaign on International Women’s Day, which includes £2 million in UK aid support to help organisations which are already working to eradicate period poverty across the globe; a new advisory task force of government departments, manufacturers, retailers, social enterprises and charities; and a commitment to support 54 projects working across 27 countries to help girls manage their periods with dignity.
Today, Hammond also used his Spring Statement to announce more police funding to tackle the ‘epidemic’ of knife crime in the UK; more investment in areas of public spending such as genetic research and laser technology; and a new £3 billion Affordable Homes Gurantee scheme, which aims to deliver around 30,000 affordabl homes.
However, the Spring Statement was overshadowed by the looming vote on a no-deal Brexit. During his speech, Hammond warned that a no-deal would mean disruption to the UK both in the “short and medium term.”
He continued, “That is why all of us have a solemn duty in the days and weeks ahead to put aside our differences and find a compromise on which this House can agree in the national interest.”