Council Partners Health News

Cork City Council Launches New Period Dignity Pilot Project

A ‘Period Dignity’ pilot project is being rolled out across Cork City by the Lord Mayor of Cork. Cllr. Deirdre Forde, along with Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus Chair Cllr. Mary Rose Desmond and members of the Women’s Caucus. Research shows that 50% of young Irish women have experienced issues around affording sanitary products.

Phase one of the new pilot project includes the installation of eight sanitary units containing complimentary sanitary pads and tampons. This pilot project spans across several council sites including libraries, homeless services and the City Hall campus.

 The locations of the 8 units are:

  • Foyer Blackpool
  • Hollyhill Library
  • Mayfield Library
  • Glanmire Library
  • Douglas Library
  • Ballincollig Library
  • Central Library
  • City Hall Campus

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde said, “as Lord Mayor of Cork and a proud member of the Women’s Caucus, I am incredibly honoured to launch this initiative today with the Chair of the Women’s Caucus, Cllr Mary Rose Desmond. This pilot project highlights the work that the caucus aims to achieve. To this day, a certain stigma continues to be associated with periods, with a poor cultural understanding and education within our society. I am optimistic that this pilot will help break that stigma and help those experiencing period poverty across the city.”

In 2019, according to CSO figures, 17.8% of people were living in enforced deprivation in Ireland, with women more likely to experience enforced deprivation. It is estimated that Irish women and girls spend an average of €132 every year on tampons and sanitary towels. The period dignity pilot project is aimed at providing free tampons and pads to all women to prevent them having to use incorrect products like rags or toilet paper as they have nothing else, poorer quality pads or tampons and the same pad or tampons for longer than is hygienic or safe. It will encourage young people to attend school, increase participation in sport, support good health and most importantly allow individuals maintain dignity with the reassurance of knowing products are available if needed unexpectedly.

This pilot is based on extensive international research in countries such as Scotland, England, Wales, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Cork City Council’s Women’s Caucus are working to implement further exciting initiatives and successful interventions in 2023 and look forward to working with the Department of Health in the future to build on the new pilot project.

This initiative is jointly led by the Women’s Caucus and Cork City Council’s Corporate Affairs and International Relations and Community Culture and Placemaking directorates and is co-funded by the Department of Health under the Healthy Ireland Initiative.

Source: Cork City Council

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