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Iinternational Womens Day 2020: Tackling global period poverty

March 4, 2020 12:00 PM
By Wendy Chamberlain MP
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

periodLack of access to sanitary products is an intolerable situation that is all-too-real for thousands of women and girls around the world.

Last year, Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced a UK government campaign pledging to eradicate period poverty globally by 2030.

Now it's time to hold the government to account on this commitment.

Ahead of International Women's Day, I'm introducing a Bill that will do just that, ensuring Ministers are regularly reporting on steps taken to meet this target:

International Development (Women's Sanitary Products)

Bill to require the Secretary of State to report on the use of official development assistance to increase the availability of women's sanitary products; and for connected purposes.

No girl should lose out on education as a result of stigma around menstruation or lack of access to sanitary products. This is an intolerable situation that is all-too-real for thousands of women and girls around the world.

"Period poverty continues to have damaging consequences for women and girls all over the world."

We must raise our ambition to work with international partners to help end period poverty & challenge broader stigma around menstruation. #IWD2020 pic.twitter.com/Y93NJq1l9n

- Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) March 4, 2020

This legislation would build on measures taken to end period poverty within the UK, with the recent roll out of free sanitary products in Wales and England.

As the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for International Development, I'm proud of my party's internationalist values and of the fact that the UK has consistently ranked as one of the world's largest aid donors.

Ending global period poverty would deliver enormous benefits to women around the world. I hope to see the new Secretary of State for International Development show leadership in taking forward my Bill, in solidarity with women around the world.