The motion led by Councillor Jayne Dunn and seconded by Councillor Julie Grocutt aims to committing the council to take steps towards challenging the stigmas surrounding period poverty and menopause in Sheffield. 

The councillors outline that this is an important issue that the council has a role in addressing and under current circumstances of the cost-of-living crisis the issue is getting worse.

Councillor Jayne Dunn said: “Women are scared to admit they are going through the menopause because they are worried about it affecting their careers. 

“If women want to continue working but they need 6 months off, a year off or to go part time when the menopause is really difficult then they should be able to do that, and it not affect their life chances when they come out of it.”

The motion revealed in a poll of 1,000 UK girls ages 14-21, over 1 in 4 struggle to afford period products and nearly 1 in 5 state that they can’t afford them. 

Period poverty is a serious issue for women across Sheffield and affects different groups that are already struggling to access support such as ethnic minority groups, refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, young carers and young people in care.

Ms Dunn said: “We need to break the stigma across diverse communities because there is still a lot of stigma for women.

“I was always embarrassed about my periods. In fact, I didn’t tell my parents. I was embarrassed because I knew my parents hardly had any money and I was like oh my god they are going to have to start paying for this now.”

Councillors Dunn and Grocutt are using this notion to call on the government to fund provision for free period products in all public buildings. 

They hope to explore what efforts the council can make to support existing efforts to support and donate period productions in order to increase their impact on this issue.