The Education Minister should introduce free period products in schools, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.
Mr Lyttle was speaking after submitting a petition of 5,000 signatures on behalf of Homeless Period Belfast to the Assembly calling for the products to be supplied to schools, alleviating period poverty and bringing Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.
The Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee said the Minister should listen to the many calling for the move.
“It is unacceptable many young girls are unable to access period products, leading to anxiety, health issues and disruption to their education,” said Mr Lyttle.
“The Education Committee has backed the call for free period products to be made available in schools, made by a number of organisations, who have all shown leadership on this matter.
“I hope the Minister considers this petition and listens to those who have long campaigned on this issue. It is past time period products were available in schools as standard and it would remove a barrier many girls face in accessing education.”
Katrina McDonnell, Project Manager of the Homeless Period Belfast, said no young woman’s education should be disrupted by their period.
“Research shows the vast majority of schoolgirls have had their education disrupted by a lack of access to period products. Now, more than ever, a free period products scheme in schools would relieve the financial pressure on parents and students to purchase them.
“Free period products in schools will ensure every young person can learn and be their very best, without the worry of their next pad or tampon holding them back.”