Written answers

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

136. To ask the Minister for Health the mechanisms and timelines that have been agreed for the budgetary allocation announced in Budget 2022 for the provision of period products; if public sector organisations that are ready to roll-out the provision of free period products will be able to draw down this funding. [60606/21]

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

This Government is committed to the introduction of measures to address period poverty, evidenced by the commitment made in the Programme for Government and by the actions taken more recently to progress the issue.

The Period Poverty in Ireland Discussion Paperwas published in February, 2021 and can be accessed at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/publication/264f4-period-poverty-in-ireland-discussion-paper-period-poverty-sub-committee-national-strategy-for-women-and-girls-20172020-february-2021/

Government has supported a Private Members Bill on Period Poverty; the Free Provision of Period Products Bill 2021 (Bill 4), proposed by Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee and sponsored by Senators Catherine Ardagh and Mary Fitzpatrick, which seeks to make period products freely available to all those who need them. A debate on the matter was held in Seanad Éireann on 8th February, 2021; the Bill has now passed to Committee stage.

Government has further agreed that the recommendations of the Period Poverty in Ireland Discussion Paper be taken into account in terms of further development of the Bill and that cross-Government, inter-Departmental, interagency and societal support for the Bill and related implementation measures should be sought, including from voluntary and private sector organisations that provide services funded by the State, as well as from public service providers.

The recommendations of the Report include, but are not limited to, consideration of the provision of free period products in public buildings, through publicly funded services and in the context of education.

The Department of Health has established a Period Poverty Implementation Group, with representation from most Government Departments, to achieve cross sectoral input and to co-ordinate oversight of both the Bill and implementation measures recommended in the Discussion Paper. It is envisaged that the work of the Group will address the indignity experienced by those who may need period products every month but cannot afford them.

The Period Poverty IG has now met on two occasions, on the 8thJuly, 2021 and 17thNovember, 2021, with further bilateral meetings held between officials of this Department and other areas of Government.

The Department of Health has been allocated approximately €714,000 in 2022; the details of allocation will be finalised in Q1, 2022 as funds become available, but it is envisaged that these funds will be used to support pilot projects for Travellers and Roma, managed through the HSE, to support local authorities and, through relevant services, to reach out to those most in need.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.