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Wales Firebreak Lockdown

Are the Welsh trying to plunge women back into Period Poverty?

Wales Firebreak Lockdown

So, by now, most of you have probably heard about what happened in a Tesco Supermarket in Wales, it was all over social media. If not, let me explain.

Whilst doing her shopping in Tesco, a woman attempted to buy sanitary products but was refused and told by staff that these were non-essential luxury items and as such was refused the right to purchase. Not only this but Tesco had gone to some pretty drastic measures to ensure that certain products can't be bought, going so far as to fence off aisles containing not only sanitary products but oral hygiene products such as toothpaste and mouthwash - items that I'm sure you will all agree are essential items. Are people also not supposed to brush their teeth for two weeks? Come on Tesco, you can do better than this.

Is Covid-19 plunging us back into an age of period poverty? This is the question that should be addressed.

It's an inherent human right for a woman to be able to have access to sanitary products for the duration of their period, without prejudice or restrictions. This is why the likes of Co-Op run period poverty banks that get donated to those most in need - a great idea if you ask me.

But then you have big supermarket giants like Tesco, who think it's ok to essentially tell a woman when she is allowed to have her period, something that is wholly out of control. And not only tell her when she's allowed her period but also tell her how she can handle her period. Are we just supposed to pad out pants out with tissue and hope for the best? I don't think so!

Now especially is the time for women to stand up and see we're done with this! We've not fought hard and long for equality just to be told that certain necessary things are still off limits, virus or not. What about Equality? Equality isn't just about having the same rights or being treated the same as everyone else - it's the opposite. Equality is about being afforded the same opportunities as everyone else, and, quite honestly, taking away our ability to access sanitary products is not affording us the same opportunites. If anything, it is restricting them. Women can be self-conscious on a good day; if you're a woman and you don't get self-conscious, I truly admire and envy your confidence. But when we have hormones raging and we're bleeding, that feeling of self-consciousness only increases. So just imagine how that feels to a woman who has been denied basic access to the one product that can make the whole process of a period a little bit easier.

Men, imagine if that was your wives or daughters. Can you honestly say that you would feel comfortable if someone told them they were worth less because they have a period once a month. I can't imagine you would.

So ladies, if your reading this, just remember, Period or not, you are Beautiful, You are Strong and there is no one out there who can ever tell you that you are lesser. And don't ever let anyone stop you buying whatever it is that you need to help you get through a period.

Read next: The State
Clare Brien

See all posts by Clare Brien