A group of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides in Cwmbran swung into action when they heard about girls in the area being affected by period poverty. The BBC recently reported that one in ten girls has been unable to afford sanitary wear, according to new research from global girls rights charity Plan International UK.
Pritti Davies, leader with 1st Fairwater Rainbows, 5th Cwmbran Brownies and 2nd Fairwater Guides, said: “Over the summer holidays I saw this post from Torfaen Labour Women’s Forum to help tackle period poverty in the area. They are collecting donations of sanitary products to distribute them to food banks and other local charities.
“Some girls are having to take time off school during their periods because they are unable to afford appropriate sanitary products, women living in deprivation and poverty are having to make a choice between food and tampons/pads.
“This struck a chord with me, as a mum of two teenage girls and a leader of three Girlguiding units. How can be possible in a developed country, in the western world?
“Girls not being able to go to school and take part in society during their period happens in the developing countries surely?
“As a teacher in Cwmbran it also struck me that this must be affecting girls that I teach! I knew straight away that this was a cause I wanted to be involved with. So I sent letters home with all my Rainbows, Brownies and Guides with the above message asking for donations of sanitary products.
70 donations in a week!
“Within a week we had well over 70 products donated. It was astounding! This campaign had really struck a chord with them as it has done to me.
“Kat Evans from the Torfaen Labour Women’s Forum came to collect the three black bags worth of sanitary products. She too was astounded by the generosity. Lots of the dearer branded products had been donated too.”
“Though people are now used to donating food to the food banks we don’t, in general, donate other necessities such and toiletries and sanitary products.
“Clearly Girlguiding is a movement for girls and our current hashtag is #ForTheGirl so this campaign is very important to us. It is unacceptable that girls living in our doorstep should miss out on opportunities, face isolation or embarrassment simply because they can’t afford sanitary products! They are essential not a luxury.
“I am so proud that in our own small way we will immediately have a positive impact on women and girls living in period poverty on our doorstep. #ForTheGirl #Girlguiding
“If you have anything that you would like to donate to help women and girls to retain their dignity during their period please let me know and I will collect them.”
A councillor in Rhondda Cynon Taf recently told BBC Wales that she believes free sanitary products should be given to all secondary school girls.