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Welsh Government unveils plans to eradicate period poverty

15 Feb 2023 3 minute read
The Welsh Government has published the ‘A Period Proud Wales’ plan

The Welsh Government has unveiled plans to eradicate period poverty and ensure the most vulnerable have access to period products during the cost of living crisis.

The newly published ‘A Period Proud Wales’ plan outlines everyone should have access to period products and anyone struggling to afford menstrual products should have the confidence to seek the support they need,

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “Period products are not a luxury item and should be available to everyone who needs them. This is more important than ever as many struggle during the cost-of-living crisis.

“We want to ensure that having a period does not lead to missed education, absences from employment or withdrawal from sport and social activities due to period poverty.”

More than £12m has been invested in improving access to free period products for children, young people and those on low incomes in Wales over the last five years.


Free period products are available in every school in Wales and across a range of community venues including foodbanks, libraries, leisure centres, family centres, community hubs and youth services.

Sport, cultural venues and employers are also being encouraged to provide free products for staff and visitors.

Dee Dickens struggled to afford menstrual products when she was growing up and felt ashamed of herself when she was on her period, constantly worried that people would notice.

“I would use toilet paper in the school toilet,” she said.

“Until I left home I spent every period worrying people could smell me and that was the shame in it. That’s one of the reasons why I’m talking about it now, as I don’t want anyone else to go through this.”

She added: “When I left home I was in charge of my own budget, but even then I would run out and still I wouldn’t go out and buy more as I had this inbred guilt and it was back to the toilet roll in the knickers. It’s taken years of therapy for me to realise that I deserve nice things and I shouldn’t really be thinking of sanitary products as nice things.”

The Welsh Government said that normalising having a period and removing any sense of shame or stigma around periods is a key priority of the plan.

The plan also aims to raise awareness and understanding of both menstrual cycles and the menopause, so people have the confidence to speak openly about them, so they don’t negatively impact on their lives.

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said “A Period Proud Wales sets out our ambitions to ensure period dignity and eradicate period poverty for women, girls and people who have periods.

“In order to do this we need to improve access to period products, remove the stigma or taboo around talking about periods and improve understanding of the impact of periods on people’s lives.”

She added: “We know broader socio-economic and environmental factors will affect our ability to meet this vision, but we are striving to start a conversation and begin a cultural change that will benefit generations to come.”

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Rhian Davies
Rhian Davies
1 year ago

Well whilst we are being so open and honest about sanitary product needs, can we also discuss the issue of gay men using the larger tampons because they can’t control their anuses after anal sex? This is what I’ve heard from men sharing houses with gay men – that they are using large tampons. If this is true, then surely there should be provisions put in male toilets too? If gay men are so keen on being ‘out’ about being gay, then surely they should be out about their use of sanitary products?

Rhian Davies
Rhian Davies
1 year ago

Hi, It would be useful if those 3 thumbs downers would comment on why they don’t like my comment, which is written out of serious concern over hidden abuses.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
1 year ago

Surely anyone so poor they cannot afford simple domestic and personal necessities will be in receipt of the appropriate benefits? That being so, they ought presumably to be in a position to budget for such necessities, both for themselves and for their children. However, if such benefits are generally insufficient, then the £12 million reportedly spent on providing free tampons etc. over the last 5 years might better have been disbursed in raising the financial support for the household budgets of the poorest. Proposing to continue an unnecessary and wasteful further tier of administration like this makes no sense. Frankly,… Read more »

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