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Irise / Learning  / Irise to convene on UK government’s Period Poverty Taskforce

Irise to convene on UK government’s Period Poverty Taskforce

On March 4th 2019, the former Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, announced a new cross-sectoral Taskforce to bring together government, business and the third sector to develop a comprehensive and sustainable response to period poverty in the UK. Period poverty includes both the lack of access to period products, and the stigma and taboo that surrounds menstruation.

Irise was thrilled to be invited to co-convene the Evidence and Data Workstream of the Taskforce with Professor Helen Weiss from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Other Co-conveners include:

  • Bloody Good Period – focusing on improving access for to period products for everyone
  • phs Group – also focusing on improving access
  • Binti International – focusing on breaking down stigma, shame and taboos around menstruation
  • PSHE Association – also focusing on tackling stigma
  • Sport England – also focusing on tackling stigma

The Taskforce was formally launched on July 23rd 2019, and focuses on three outcomes, each forming its own workstream: tackling the stigma and shame around menstruation through better awareness, improved knowledge and education; improving the data and evidence on period poverty and menstrual stigma and education in the UK; and, ensuring access for all, providing period products whenever they are needed in particular to vulnerable women and girls.

Our CEO, Emily Wilson, said,

“The taskforce represents a unique opportunity to transform the lives of people affected by period poverty and shame in the UK. It is a ground-breaking response to recent grassroots activism highlighting the negative impacts of period poverty and shame on the lives of girls, women and other menstruators. The commitment to action is remarkable, but it is not enough. For the Period Poverty Taskforce to realise its transformative potential and deliver sustainable change across generations, actions and policies must be rooted in strong evidence of what works. Irise will focus on channeling the commitment and resources of the Taskforce towards the most effective strategies to end period poverty and shame by 2025.” 

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