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  • Writer's pictureScarlett Langdon

General Election 2024: What do the major political parties say on period poverty?

The UK General Election is just around the corner, taking place on Thursday 4th July… but what are the major parties saying when it comes to period poverty? 


Well, it turns out, not very bloody much! Out of the four major parties, Conservative, Green, Labour and the Liberal Democrats - the Lib Dems are the only party to even mention periods, menstruation or period poverty. 


In their manifesto the Lib Dems have pledged to tackle the economic barriers facing women by; ending period poverty by introducing a right for anyone who needs them to access free period products’. 


Whatever the outcome of the election we must keep period poverty on the political agenda. Across the UK, women, girls and people who have periods are struggling to access basic essentials and the cost of living crisis has driven levels of need to unprecedented levels. If you agree, sign our petition and show the next government that periods are a bloody important issue!  


Of course period poverty is just one aspect of our work. To help you make this bloody important decision we’ve taken a look at the four main parties' manifestos and what they’re pledging in some of the key areas affecting our work. 


Please note, parties are listed alphabetically.


Conservative

  • No specific mention of periods or period poverty

  • Will expand Pharmacy First, including menopause support and contraception

  • The party say they will, ‘prioritise women’s health’ including a national strategy for maternity care as recommended by the APPG on Birth Trauma’s inquiry, additional funding for maternal safety, improve access to mental health services for new mums, improve perinatal pelvic health services and more.

  • Have already stopped the routine use by the NHS of puberty blockers for gender dysphoria and will seek to legislate to permanently prevent their private prescription and supply.

  • Age limits on what children can be taught in regard to sex, relationships, and gender will be introduced.

  • Will rewrite the Equality Act so that it only offers protections on the basis of a person's biological sex


Green

  • No specific mention of periods or period poverty

  • No specific mention of reproductive healthcare and maternity rights

  • Will campaign for the right of self-identification for trans and non-binary people and change the law so an X gender marker can be added to passports for non-binary and intersex people who wish to use it.

  • Will extend pay-gap protections to all protected characteristics including ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation

  • Ensure that domestic abuse and gender-based violence is a key measurable priority for all police forces and that all police officers are trained to recognise and tackle domestic violence. 

  • Will make misogyny a hate crime across the UK and develop and implement a new UK-wide strategy to tackle gender-based violence


Labour


  • No specific mention of periods or period poverty

  • Have promised to train thousands more midwives, support trusts failing on maternity care into rapid improvement and set a target to close the Black and Asian maternal mortality gap.

  • Will ‘simplify’ the process by which people can legally change their gender and acquire a gender recognition certificate (GRC)

  • Will work to implement the recommendations of the Cass Review* to ensure young people presenting to the NHS with gender dysphoria are receiving appropriate and high-quality care

*It is worth noting that The Cass Review has been heavily criticised by the LGBT+ sector, trans community organisations and medical practitioners working in transgender healthcare.  The report, published in April, has already led to a review of prescription policy for gender affirming hormones for 16-17 year olds. 


Liberal Democrats

  • Will end period poverty by introducing a right for anyone who needs them to access free period products.

  • End the gender price gap so that women are not charged more than men for identical products or services marketed at them

  • Have promised to protect everyone’s right to make independent decisions over their reproductive health and ensure access to high-quality reproductive healthcare, including enforcing safe zones around abortion clinics and hospitals.

  • Will ban all forms of conversion therapies and practices.

  • Respect and defend the rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including trans and non-binary people.

  • Reform the gender recognition process to remove the requirement for medical reports, recognise non-binary identities in law, and remove the spousal veto.


Don’t forget to vote on Thursday 4th July and don’t forget to bring ID! 



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