'Well done Sunderland' - families praise city council for 'great step forward' in tackling period poverty
A Sunderland City Council pledge to "break the silence" around periods has been praised by members of the public.
The local authority has shown its support to a national campaign aimed at tackling period poverty by providing sanitary products for free. Councillor Kelly Chequer launched a motion at Sunderland Civic Centre which will see the council sign up to several pledges following its approval.
Free sanitary products will now be provided in all council buildings. Local employers and schools will also be encouraged to back the scheme by providing sanitary towels and tampons.
Dozens of Echo readers have been sharing their view on the issue on social media - with many praising the council for bringing the issue of so-called "period poverty" to light.
While the reaction to the council's pledge was largely positive, some argued that budget-friendly sanitary products were widely available, and the money could be spent elsewhere.
Councillors in Sunderland also criticised the Government for not removing the tax on sanitary products, when they are not a luxury item but a necessity.
Here are some of your reactions from the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:
Benjamin Taylor: "If you can afford to give out free condoms, when sex is optional, and you can afford to give out free methadone, when drug use is optional; then, you can afford to give out free sanitary products, when menstruation is NOT optional.
"Everyone here has a daughter, a sister, a niece, or someone else close to them who has/had periods. Try to imagine them, if they were unable to get what they needed."
Fiona Hardy: "All the moaners on here should have their toilet roll confiscated next time they use a public toilet, but only after they've used the loo. Pay for it and see how fair it feels."
Andy Galloway: "These products should be free anyway, why give out free condoms and not sanitary products that are needed by 100% of the female population?
"These should be a higher priority as menstruation is an unavoidable bodily function and I cant see why women should have to pay to use these essential items."
Kate Appleby: "That any woman should complain about this is beyond me!"
Louise Collingwood: "As contraception is free for any age - then I agree sanitary wear for under 18s should be free. unfortunately not all kids have parents that either can afford extras for them, even the basics."
Craig Fletcher: "Because this is an uncontrollable bodily function, these products should be given out free of charge anyway."
Margaret Conroy: "Well if a period starts in class it’s very embarrassing they should have easy access to sanitary protection and privacy as some girls experience very heavy periods."
Helen Borthwick: "First times are horrendous for most girls, you can't plan for it, as you don't know it's coming, and not everyone has regular cycles, and caught out. Well done Sunderland!"
Kimberley Zara Wilson: "I think it’s a great step forward!"
Victoria Chisholm: "Normally I don’t have much praise for Sunderland council, but credit where credit's due. This a good idea. Well done."
Rachel McGregor: "This is a great idea! Not that I'd make a habit of using them on a regular basis because I am more than happy to provide my own. However, I have lost count how many times since the age of 14 I have been away from home and 'caught out' by Mother Nature because I was not expecting her."
Duncan Goodfellow: "Usually have nothing good to say about SCC, however well played on this one."
Jenny Coward: "Brilliant idea so kids will not be embarrassed if caught short well done."
Marie Robson: "This is fantastic news for the City, and shows that the council does care. I’d like to see the conversation develop to properly sustainable solutions when it’s up and running.
"There’s [a] huge range of options available, not just disposable tampons and pads, which can help reduce period poverty."