UN Human Rights Council 50 UK statement on menstrual hygiene management, human rights and gender equality

Thank you Mr President

The United Kingdom welcomes this important panel discussion today on menstrual hygiene management, human rights and gender equality. At the heart of this issue is the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all women and girls. The UK strongly believes that in order to fully participate in society, including attendance at school and the workplace, women and girls need to be able to manage their period safely, hygienically and with dignity.

The UK takes an integrated approach to ending period poverty and shame, tackling the range of barriers women and girls face in managing their periods. These barriers often include access to products but also safe hygiene facilities and comprehensive sexuality education. We need to do more to shift social norms to tackle stigma and shame too.

As announced in the UK’s recently released International Development Strategy, I’m delighted that the UK will be restoring funding to women and girls this year, including addressing period poverty and shame.

Schools, workplaces and public places must also cater for the needs of menstruating people, so they are free from stigma and discrimination, and have access to a choice of low-cost, appropriate period products.

We would like to ask the panellists, what more can States do to ensure that period poverty and shame is addressed in schools and wider society?

Thank you.

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