Cardiff to promote period dignity in schools

A new scheme to promote period dignity amongst girls and young women in Cardiff is to be rolled out to primary and secondary schools from spring term 2019.

The £1.14 million Welsh Government funding, with over £117,000 allocated to Cardiff, aims to help tackle stigma and address period poverty in communities, whilst improving school facilities to ensure dignity for girls and young women.

Last summer a period dignity survey was carried out in Cardiff secondary schools to gain young women’s views about the issue of period dignity and to consult on how they would like to access free feminine hygiene products. Key findings showed that;

  • Although the majority of schools currently provide free sanitary products, less than half of secondary school students were aware of this.
  • Half of the students responding stated sanitary products are currently available from the school reception area but they would prefer to access them from a dispenser inside the toilet’s or cubicles.
  • Almost a third of students felt their period impacted negatively on their school attendance with two-fifths of pupils felt their periods had negatively impacted on their school performance.

A pilot was subsequently carried out in Eastern High School, Cathays High School, Adamsdown Primary School and Grangetown Primary. Significant elements of the pilot included;

  • Free access to sanitary products within identified toilet cubicles and in ‘Red Boxes’ held by designated staff;
  • Raising awareness of the programme to staff and students through presentations, assemblies, posters and stickers on cubicle doors;
  • Focus groups with female students about education on menstruation, with a view to developing relevant lessons and resources for schools to meet the needs of young people;
  • Evaluation by school staff and female students in pilot schools.

This programme also contributes to Cardiff’s commitment to becoming a Child-Friendly City, where the views and priorities of children are at the heart of decision making.

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