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THE LAUNCH OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR PERIOD POVERTY - DIGNITY FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE HOUSE OF LORDS AT 12 NOON ON 7TH MARCH, 2019, THE DAY BEFORE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.
REPORT FROM THE HOUSE OF LORDS PERIOD POVERTY LAUNCH - THURSDAY 7TH MARCH 2019
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Inner Wheel, sponsored by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town and led by Association President Ann, took over Committee Room 3 today. They were joined by representatives of organisations working to alleviate period poverty in Great Britain and Ireland and overseas. After a welcome from Lady Hayter and an introduction by President Ann, Clegg Bamber, co-founder of The Red Box Project spoke about their work in schools, supplying sanitary products that can be distributed by a dedicated member of staff to girls when needed. He also spoke of #FREE PERIODS who have started legal action to force the Government to provide adequate sanitary protection in school, colleges and universities.
This was followed by two representatives from Days for Girls who are just starting their involvement with period poverty in the UK and Ireland. They showed examples of their kit and handmade reusable pads that they have been sending overseas for many years, the emphasis being on sustainability, with plastic pollution and waste disposal very much in the news today.
Inner Wheel member, Jennifer Angus, Trustee Coram Bradford, spoke of the work of Coram Life Education whose new “Time for Change” project is very much in tune with the Government latest announcement of programmes for relationships and health education in schools.
This was followed by a very interesting and thought provoking talk by Soheli Sattar Rima, a member of the Inner Wheel Club of Dhaka North West, about period poverty in her country, Bangladesh. She was very interested in the kits and sustainable pads made by Days for Girls which can be of enormous use in her country.
The meeting finished with a talk by Rev. Catherine Forsdike, speaking about the problems of deprivation and poverty, including period poverty, not only in urban areas but also in rural settings.
Jim Shannon, MP for Strangford, Norther Ireland, Shadow DUP Spokesperson for Human Rights and Health and Liz Saville Roberts, MP for Dwyfor & Meirionnydd, North East Wales, Plaid Cymru Leader in Westminster and Shadow Spokesperson for Home Affairs attended the meeting and spoke in support. Our campaign also received messages of interest and encouragement from other MPs, in particular Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education and Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as members of the House of Lords.
It was an excellent opportunity for members and our guests to meet one another and exchange information. Everyone agreed that working together we can make a difference.
Sincere thanks were given to Rev. Alan Forsdike for his help in designing the period poverty logo and to David Roberts for the press release.
A report will be given at Conference on what Clubs have achieved so far to encourage involvement in projects all over Great Britain and Ireland.
Diana Johnson, Hull North MP was invited to the launch as she is a member of the Health and Social Care Committee. She was unable to attend the launch but invited representatives from two local Inner Wheel Clubs (Hull and Hull Kingston) to meet her at her constituency office on International Women's Day. Diana and her PA had some suggestions as to how we can implement the Period Poverty campaign in the Hull area.