SDLP Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney’s Period Products Bill will be introduced to the Assembly on Monday.
Mr Catney’s bill aims to address period poverty across Northern Ireland by making free period products available in schools, colleges and all other public buildings.
The first reading of the bill will be heard in the Assembly on Monday.
The Lagan Valley MLA said:
“I am delighted that after much hard work, engagement with local groups and planning that my Period Products Bill will have its first reading in the Assembly on Monday. Period poverty is a huge issue throughout our society, with the SDLP’s consultation on the bill revealing 45% of respondents struggled to afford or access sanitary products. With the cost of living and other essential products on the rise we need to do what we can to mitigate these costs for people who are struggling.
“For too long we have been failing our women and girls on this issue. These products are not luxuries, they are essentials and they cost a significant amount of money. That people are forced to go without them because they cannot afford them is utterly disgraceful. There should be no stigma around accessing these products when needed and those that are unable to afford them should be provided with them. Being unable to obtain period products is damaging to both a woman’s physical and mental health.
“As a father of three women with three grandchildren who are girls I think we need to do everything we can to make the world a kinder and safer place for all women. This bill will be an important step in helping those who need it and I hope every party will see sense and back it on its journey through the Assembly. It’s important we do everything we can to remove gendered barriers and create a fairer and more equal society.”