Scots MP tells parliament she is on her period while raising concerns about cost

A Scottish MP has been praised after becoming the first woman to reveal in parliament that she is on her period.
Midlothian MP Danielle RowleyMidlothian MP Danielle Rowley
Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley

Labour’s Danielle Rowley called for action on the cost of sanitary products, as she said they had cost her £25 so far this week.

The UK Government is under pressure to follow the lead of Holyrood and legislate to roll out plans to offer free sanitary products to women on low incomes.

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During Women and Equalities questions, she told MPs: “I would like to raise with you today and to the House, and perhaps you’ll excuse me for my lateness, that today I’m on my period - and it’s cost me this week already £25.

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Scotland to roll out free sanitary products for low-income women

“We know the average cost of a period in the UK over a year is £500 - many women can’t afford this.

“What is the minister doing to address period poverty?”

Women and Equalities Minister Victoria Atkins said the Government had invested £1.5 million in the Brook Young People project, Let’s Talk Periods.

“And the Government is committed to removing the VAT rate on sanitary products when we leave the EU which will help with the costs of sanitary products.”

Several MPs could be heard congratulating Ms Rowley, the MP for Midlothian, after she made parliamentary history.

Ms Rowley told the Mirror: “It’s something that’s really important but isn’t really spoken about enough.”

“I think there is still a taboo. I talk about my period quite a lot, I will talk about it to male friends and colleagues, and generally it’s fine.

“But I think sometimes, if you are talking about it perhaps with older men or women, there’s a bit of ‘oh, why are you saying that?’.

“I hope me talking about it in the chamber will help break down the taboo and help give women more confidence.”