Unite has welcomed the announcements by Manchester Metropolitan Mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram that their organisations will sign up to the union’s period dignity campaign. The announcements coincide with International Women’s Day today (March 8).
By throwing their support behind Unite’s campaign it will mean that in future all of the toilets in the organisations’ buildings will have sanitary products freely available.
Unite is urging all employers in the North West to follow the lead of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Liverpool City Region to ensure that women have period dignity.
Unite launched its period dignity campaign in recognition of the increasing number of women who are struggling to afford sanitary products.
“I’m proud to support the work Unite is doing – it’s only right that we take steps to ensure that women and girls have period dignity,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.
“They are entitled to have a positive period, it’s a natural act and they should never have to feel awkward about it – by taking these steps I hope we can go some way to doing that,” he added.
“I now want other employers across the city region to show their support to the campaign, and join us to help promote period dignity.”
Mayor of the Liverpool city region Steve Rotheram added, “No woman or girl should be without access to sanitary protection. Period poverty is an issue that is affecting access to education and to opportunity and it’s prevalent across our society.
“Young girls are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary protection and this inequality needs to stop.
“International Women’s Day is a perfect opportunity to bring attention to this still hidden issue. Products should be freely available and I’m proud we are supporting Unite’s effort to do that.”
Unite national women’s officer Siobhan Endean called today’s news “a really welcome step by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Liverpool City Region in tackling period poverty and ensuring period dignity in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
“Backing Unite’s campaign on International Women’s Day is highly symbolic as it is a practical measure which helps to improve equality in the workplace and in wider society,” she said.
“Having a period is entirely natural and should never be a source of concern or awkwardness. Unite is committed to tackling the wider issues around periods both inside and outside the workplace.
“We would strongly urge other employers and organisations to follow the lead of the Combined Greater Manchester Authority and the Liverpool City Region and introduce measures to ensure period dignity.”