Women are using socks and newspaper because they cannot afford sanitary products, according to the Trussell Trust.
One of the most heart-rending scenes in the film I, Daniel Blake involves a woman shoplifting tampons because she doesn’t have money to buy them.
Edinburgh-based screenwriter Paul Laverty was inspired to include the scene after meeting people in food banks who couldn’t afford essential items.
And there can be no doubt that sanitary towels and tampons are essential items. They are expensive – but in no way a luxury.
The misery caused by “period poverty” has became better understood recently thanks to the film and work of campaigners such as Labour MSP Monica Lennon.
There are obvious health risks – such as toxic shock syndrome – of poor sanitary care. But the social impact is less well known.
Ewan Gurr from the Trussell Trust charity has told of women resorting to using
newspaper or socks. And a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found there are 1.25million people across the UK who are missing out on sanitary products.
There is also evidence of young women missing days at school because they do not have the resources to properly deal with something that is a natural part of life.