Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake has thrown his weight behind a petition to lobby Procter and Gamble to make sanitary products available to homeless women during their menstrual period.
The petition was started by Laura Coryton, who also successfully gathered over 300,000 signatures on her petition to scrap VAT on female sanitary products. The aim of this new drive is to push Procter and Gamble (P&G), who manufacture ‘Always’ and ‘‘Tampax’ feminine products to make the Homeless Period Project the target of their next donation drive. P&G already regularly support charities which aim to provide poor families with everyday essentials and/or improve hygiene education.
Homeless shelters very often do not provide sanitary products and even public bathrooms that do provide them, do so at a high price. Homeless women are more prone to infection and by using tampons for longer than advised can suffer toxic shock syndrome - a potentially fatal bacterial illness.
Tom has previously supported efforts in Parliament to scrap the so-called ‘tampon tax’ entirely.
“This is a great cause and a natural successor to the campaign to scrap the Tampon Tax. Whilst that effort was unsuccessful in banning the tax altogether, the campaign managed to push the Government to redirect funds to women’s charities. It is only right that we now turn our focus to helping vulnerable homeless women.
“Many homeless women, especially young women who have not been properly educated about hygiene risks are at serious risk of developing infections due to poor access to sanitary products. Homeless shelters are too often under-resourced and overburdened and many do not have the ability to give out hygiene products. By donating just a small percentage of their products, Procter and Gamble would be making an immeasurable difference to the quality of life for so many women.
“I am calling on P&G to take on board this petition and make the Homeless Period Project their next supported charity drive.”