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Ministerial foreword

Periods are normal. They are not a choice. We all either have them, have had them, or know people who do. Periods are not just a ‘women’s issue’, they are not dirty and they are definitely not something to be ashamed of. No-one should be disadvantaged because of their period. Everyone should have access to period products, as and when they are required, to use in a private space that is safe and dignified.  

The Welsh Government has worked for a number of years on financial initiatives to tackle period poverty. Eradicating period poverty means ensuring that having a period does not lead to missed education, absences from employment or withdrawal from sport and social activities. Since 2018 we have invested almost nine million pounds to ensure that children and young people and those on low incomes have access to free period products. The Welsh Government is proud of the impact this funding has had and of the work we have done in partnership with local authorities and health boards to disseminate products through our schools, colleges and communities.

Tackling period poverty remains a priority of the Welsh Government but it is time to go further. This Plan outlines a broader vision to achieve period dignity in Wales. This vision involves ending any sense of stigma and shame associated with periods; normalising people’s experience whilst also acknowledging the distress and pain suffered by those whose periods are not “normal”.

Period dignity considers the link between periods and broader health issues, the environmental impact of many disposable products, the impact on the workplace and on engagement in sport and culture. The plan aims to be intersectional, in that it considers period dignity for those with additional protected characteristics and seeks to make provision for additional challenges or cultural requirements. Period dignity and period poverty are children's rights matters and the plan considers the ongoing work of schools and young people’s services in relation to that.

I would like to express my thanks to our stakeholders, including the Period Dignity Roundtable, who have been instrumental in the development of this Plan and who will play a vital role in its implementation. 

It is important we now hear from as broad a range of people in Wales as we can in order to build on the work undertaken to date and further develop the actions. Throughout the consultation period, we will particularly reach out to women, young people, older people, non-binary, intersex and trans people, disabled people, people of various faiths and Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people to ensure the plan is sufficiently broad and considers the range of issues associated with having a period, or knowing someone who does.

Jane Hutt MS

Minister for Social Justice.

The case for change

As Plan International state in their “Break the Barriers” report; “the taboos and lack of education surrounding menstruation have had a number of tangible, negative impacts on girls’ day-to-day lives”. These impacts are wide ranging and potentially long term.

In 2014 the UN Human Rights Council acknowledged that lack of menstrual health management and stigma associated with menstruation have a negative impact on gender equality. Plan International and those leading academic research in this area set out a series of potential, negative experiences, which can contribute to this disadvantage:

  • Lack of education around menstruation, offered at appropriate times by skilled professionals, can negatively affect future sexual and reproductive health. 
  • Negative attitudes towards menstruation by peers, and related sexual harassment, can affect girls’ motivation to study, their self-esteem and their self-worth, which can lead to them having lower ambitions and career expectations.
  • The silence surrounding menstruation can lead to a lack of knowledge and choice amongst young people about reusable menstrual products, and therefore the possible options regarding their own bodies.
  • A lack of information about both reusable products as well as how to dispose safely of non-reusable menstrual products has a negative environmental impact.
  • A lack of support and education in schools for girls and others who menstruate, about menstruation, can feed into school absenteeism, and lead to menstruators missing out on activities such as sport, due to worrying about leaking, as well as potentially affecting their views about physical exercise in the future. Women in sport research has found that as girls try to manage periods this can lead to long term absences and habits that are difficult to reverse.
  • The lack of knowledge about what counts as ‘normal’ in terms of menstrual health can lead to the late diagnosis of serious conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD),or gynaecological cancers.
  • The menstrual cycle is also known to affect many chronic health conditions, such as anxiety, asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and epilepsy, yet very few people are aware of this link.
  • Research (Lancastle, D. Work-related disruption associated with heavy menstruation and gynaecological diagnoses. University of South Wales, February 2020) suggests that the impact of heavy periods and gynaecological conditions on employment may be chronic and, as they are likely to be experienced on a monthly basis; have an ongoing impact on women and their careers. Women living with heavy periods and gynaecological conditions are likely to experience disruption to their employment on more days per month than women without such conditions. It is also important to note that women notice some disruption to their work due to their bleeding whether or not their bleeding is heavy and whether or not they have a gynaecological diagnosis.
  • Moreover, access to menstrual products is a key issue for those living in poverty. Alongside the physical impact of not having access to appropriate sanitary protection, the experience of poverty can also be linked to feelings of shame, associated with not ‘fitting in’, and not being able to do what peers are doing. Period taboos often lead to girls feeling shame about their bodies and menstruation. When this shame is combined with the shame associated with poverty, the experience can have disproportionately negative impacts on girls’ lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also compounded the experience of period poverty for many. According to Plan International, the amount of girls reporting period poverty increased between lockdowns and over one million girls in the UK struggled to afford or access period products during the pandemic.

Purpose

This Strategic Action Plan sets out the Welsh Government’s approach to ensuring period dignity in Wales. The Plan is grounded in a commitment to work across Government, and with stakeholders, to develop and deliver a series of wide-ranging, holistically intersecting actions.

The timeframe for the Plan will apply over the next 5 years.

Vision

By 2026 we will live in a Wales where:

  • periods are fully understood, accepted and normalised. It is widely recognised that periods are not a choice and period products are not a luxury
  • those who have periods have access to good quality and safe products of their choice, when and where necessary, in the most dignified way possible
  • equitable access to provision across Wales exists, whilst allowing for local arrangements
  • the stigma, taboos and myths which exist have been challenged through provision of information and educational resources. No-one is ashamed or embarrassed about periods and can speak openly and confidently about them, whether they have periods or do not
  • the potential impact of periods and how they may change during the peri-menopause, menopause and as a result of broader health issues is widely understood
  • this impact is responded to safely and non-judgmentally within education, employment and health based settings
  • citizens in Wales feel able to access health based services around their period and related matters and are confident that these services will be sensitive and informed by sex and gender
  • a broader range of period products are in use, limiting the negative environmental impact of many disposable products
  • all those who have periods:
    • fully understand their period and know what it normal for them
    • are confident to seek help and medical advice, if necessary
    • do not face health inequalities when seeking medical advice or help *
    • know how best to manage their period to ensure it does not negatively impact on their life
    • have an understanding of the different types of products available, their correct use and disposal, and can choose the most appropriate product for them
    • have access to appropriate facilities to enable them to manage their period in privacy, with dignity and in a healthy way.

Period dignity

The use of the term “dignity” or “dignified” should not be misconstrued to reinforce any expectation that people seeking period products should do so quietly or secretly or someone be required to hide their needs for products.

We have adopted a broad definition of dignity, which prioritises the eradication of period poverty but also aims to go beyond this to include a range of experiences and connected policy areas that affect a person’s experience of having a period and the ongoing impact of periods on their life.

We use this definition carefully and it is important to note that broader socio-economic and environmental factors will affect our ability to meet the vision we outline in this plan. For example, poverty will impact a person’s ability to choose and benefit from reusable products, especially if they do not have access to adequate washing facilities or live in an energy-poor household.  Moreover, whilst the plan prioritises mitigation of the environmental impact of single use period products as part of broader Welsh Government commitments in that area, it is also important to state that this prioritisation does not aim to apportion blame or disproportionate responsibility on those who menstruate.

* We know that lack of knowledge about what counts as ‘normal’ in terms of menstrual health can lead to the late diagnosis of serious conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD),or gynaecological cancers. For members of our society who have unequal access to health services to begin with, there is the potential that these conditions could take even longer to diagnose. We know that Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and rural communities can all face barriers in accessing health services.

Ensuring Period dignity means ensuring that people do not face health inequalities when seeking medical help. As such, this plan should be considered alongside other Welsh Government policies, plans and legislation which seek to address these inequalities, including The Welsh Government LGBTQ+ Action Plan, The Race Equality Action PlanThe Gender Equality Review, Travelling to better health, Action on Independent living, A Healthier Wales our Plan for Health and Social Care, A Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and Asylum Seeker Plan, Enabling Gypsies, Roma and Travellers plan, the Welsh Government Strategic Equality Plan 2020 to 2024.

Background

2018

The Welsh Government provides £920,000 to address period poverty.

2019

With a broader focus on period dignity, the Welsh Government announces £2.5 million pounds for local authorities and Further Education to provide free period products in all schools in Wales, to be distributed in the most practical and dignified way possible.

Additional funding is provided to ensure provision of free period products within Further Education Institutions (FEIs) across Wales.

Period products are made available, free of charge, for all hospital inpatients.

Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) seek feedback from local authorities regarding the current funding arrangements and any areas they would like addressed in any future funding.

2020

The Welsh Government provides over £2 million pounds to continue to ensure that period products can be accessed free of charge by learners in schools, Further Education Institutions, to those in need in communities and to hospital inpatients. This year we asked that 50% of the products, purchased through grant, be plastic free.

Working with Eco Schools, we provide resources for schools to break down the social stigma and taboos around periods and period products.

The Welsh Government officials hold a workshop with stakeholders, including members of the Period Dignity Roundtable, to inform future policy and this strategy. 

The COVID pandemic prevents final development and publication of a draft Period Dignity Strategic Action Plan, however we work with local authorities, the WLGA and FEIs to ensure that the distribution methods for period products are adapted to ensure that period products are made available to those in need across Wales and that consistent messaging is shared that products are still available.

2021

In June the Welsh Government publishes the Programme for the 6th Senedd; founded on the distinctively Welsh values of community, equality and social justice. It makes specific reference to period dignity with the inclusion of the following commitments:

  • Embed period dignity in schools.
  • Expand our free period provision in communities and the private sector.

In October we publish the Period Dignity Strategic Action Plan for consultation. Over £3 million is made available to ensure that period products can be accessed free of charge by learners in schools, Further Education Institutions and to those in need in communities.

The language used in the plan

Evidence suggests that some of the language used to describe periods and period products can reinforce stigma, myths and embarrassment.

We want to use clear, consistent and straightforward language. The terms “periods”, “period products”, “period dignity” and “period poverty” are used throughout this document.

We recognise that some people may not feel comfortable using this language initially and that in some cultures, the term “period” is a word that isn’t often used and in itself, a barrier to discussion. However, by normalising language around periods and ending the shame and stigma associated with them we aim to build confidence in discussing periods in open and straightforward terms. Of course, when working directly with individuals, communities and groups it is important to use accessible language and the language preferred by an individual and ensure all discussion is informed by cultural understanding and sensitivity.

Using inclusive language

The language within this plan aims to be inclusive. Part of our vision for this plan is to improve health outcomes for everyone who experiences periods. Menstruation is a specific experience of the female sex, however not all people who are assigned female at birth, or who identify as women, menstruate. Conversely, there are people who identify as genders other than women, such as trans men, intersex and non-binary people who also menstruate. The language used within this Action Plan is deliberately broad as the plan aims to include all who menstruate.

Where research or publications cited in this plan uses particular language, that language is reproduced here. Moreover, where actions in this plan are aimed specifically at a particular group, specific language around that group is used. As a result, this plan includes use of the terms “women”, “girl”, “those who menstruate”, “learner” and “patient” throughout. In order to be inclusive, the term “person who menstruates” will be used most frequently to encompass all affected by this plan.

Normalisation

The term “normalisation” is used within this document to support the aim of ending stigma, taboo and discomfort in talking about and understanding periods. We acknowledge that many people do not have periods that they would describe as “normal” and some are living with menstrual health conditions which have a significant and negative impact on health, fertility, educational attainment and future prospects. The term “normalisation” is not used to underplay the seriousness of this.

The need for consultation

We are grateful for the work of the Period Dignity Roundtable and the feedback from trusted partners and stakeholders to develop this draft plan.  In order to develop the plan further, and particularly, to ensure the plan represents the needs of diverse groups, formal consultation is required.  Throughout the consultation we will particularly reach out to women, young people, older people, non-binary and trans people, disabled people, people of various faiths and Black Asian and minority ethnic groups.

Throughout development of this plan we have considered the intersection of the experience of periods and a potential changing of periods with other health issues.  This consideration has included the perimenopause, the menopause, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and gynaecological cancers. Although these issues have an effect beyond the direct health impacts, we are not of the view that amalgamation of actions around these health issues in this plan provides the specificity of consideration required to improve their experience.  As such, we have included actions that are holistic and address wider impacts of some of these issues; on employment, in relation to research and to product availability for example.  We will also use the consultation to understand broader needs around these issues, particularly the intersection between heavier and more frequent periods and the perimenopause, to inform additional actions required in this plan and further work required by Welsh Government on women’s health issues.

The Welsh Government Period Dignity Strategic Action Plan

Strategic governance and engagement

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
1.

Hold Ministerial Period Dignity Roundtable meetings to oversee implementation of the period dignity strategic action plan and to advise on emerging issues and opportunities.

The Welsh Government Equality team

Ministerial Period Dignity Roundtable

At least twice yearly. Possibly more frequent meetings as the plan is introduced and implemented. Via the membership of the roundtable group, children, young people and adults will have a voice and platform through which to engage with Welsh Government and Ministers and to raise emerging issues and issues that matter to them and consider possible solutions.
2. Link and embed period dignity considerations into wider Welsh Government work and strategies e.g. the Gender Equality Review, single use plastics policy and potential legislation, Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act etc. The Welsh Government Ongoing The period dignity needs of children, young people and adults will be evident and require consideration in broader policy work across the Welsh Government.
3. Work with the WLGA to bring local authority Period Dignity leads together to flag and address ongoing operational challenges relating to the dissemination of the period dignity grant and eradicating period poverty in Wales.

The Welsh Government

The WLGA

Local Authorities

October 2022 Collaboration and partnership between local authorities and Government will take place to share best practice, address operational issues and foster innovation in relation to period dignity.
4. Ensure that period dignity and period poverty are included on the agenda of future race and faith forums and of the Disability Rights Taskforce. The Welsh Government October 2022 Collaboration and partnership between local authorities and Government will take place to share best practice, address operational issues and foster innovation in relation to period dignity.

Communication

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
5.

Develop a Period Dignity communications strategy: aimed at ending stigma and taboo related to periods, open up wider conversations around periods for all, regardless of age or gender and to help increase use of reusable products and minimise the environmental impact of period products.

Case studies gathered through the development of Action 4 will be used to inform the strategy, so that it reflects diverse experiences of periods.   

The Welsh Government Equality and Communications teams

By March 2023

Communications channels most appropriate to achieving period dignity will be identified. This will include hard copy information and information available in accessible formats.

A social media communications plan will be established.

Content which aims to increase understanding, acceptance and normalisation of periods by all will have reached a broad audience across Wales.

The plan will include schools, local authorities, further education colleges, work-based learning and youth services.

The communications plan will be drafted with direct input from those who have periods, regarding how best to reach them.

6. Create and share case studies to demonstrate the practical impact of (amongst others) period poverty, lack of period dignity, heavy and painful periods, the peri-menopause, menopause and other gynaecological health issues,to raise awareness and understanding of period dignity and disseminate these broadly. The Welsh Government By March 2023

Lived experience associated with period dignity will inform learning and communications resources and contribute to achieving culture change across Wales. The lived experience of people from a diverse range of backgrounds will be sought, including women, girls, trans masculine and non-binary individuals, people who are disabled, refugee or asylum seekers, those from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, those who hold various religious beliefs, those from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller community and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Case studies will be used across the public and private sector and across all levels of education.

7. Scope and develop good practice guidance for implementation of period dignity practice across the Public and Private sector in Wales. The guidance will outline how practical support around period dignity should be adjusted across a range of protected characteristics and highlight best practice and innovation. The Welsh Government By March 2024

Guidance will be available which acknowledges that health inequalities effect some groups more than others and that this has an impact on the experience of periods and period dignity.

The guidance will consider the needs of (amongst others):

  • Women and girls
  • Men and boys
  • Older people
  • Children and young people
  • Gypsy, Roma, Travellers
  • Asylum seekers and refugees
  • Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people
  • Disabled people
  • Faith communities
  • LGBTQ+ people.

Funding

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
8.

Using feedback from local authorities, FE colleagues and existing research as evidence; flex the existing period dignity grant to allow for education, training and more flexible support for vulnerable groups.

The Welsh Government By March 2022

The period dignity grant will meet local need and provide resource through which reusable products are promoted.

Increase of uptake of reusable products will increase year on year.

9.

Undertake an evaluation of the impact of the period dignity grant for the period 2018-2022 and use the findings of the evaluation to take a strategic, long-term approach to the provision of sanitary products across Wales.

The Welsh Government Equality and Knowledge and Analytical Services team.

Evaluation by April 2022

Funding plan by March 2023

An evidence base for future funding will be in place to inform future decisions.

A sustainable funding plan for the period of the 6th Senedd will be in place that is geared towards and able to respond to the needs of children, young people and adults across Wales.
10.

Identify priority groups currently excluded from current provision and explore options to reach such groups, including through funding provision e.g Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, those in prison and the homeless.

The Welsh Government with the Period Dignity Roundtable Ongoing Ongoing consideration will be given to communities, groups and individuals who are under-served by the period dignity policy and work will be undertaken to reach these groups and provide period products in appropriate and accessible ways.
11. Work with and learn from others to identify good practice around use of the period dignity grant and share these examples with Local Authorities, Local Health Boards and education providers, including Further Education and Higher Education.

The Welsh Government Equality team

Annually Public services will be informed and supported to innovate and think creatively to ensure period dignity for children, young people and adults in their locality.

The workplace

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
12.

Ensure educational and practical period dignity resources are available to businesses across Wales via Business Wales online resources.

The Welsh Government Equalities team and Business Wales March 2023

Business leaders will have greater awareness of the need for practical support around period dignity.

Good practice will be shared between Government and the private sector.

13. Make links with Welsh business and entrepreneurial communities to raise awareness of period dignity in the workplace. The Welsh Government Equalities team and Business Wales March 2023 Welsh business and entrepreneurial communities will be informed and aware of the needs of staff related to period dignity, including issues related to the menopause, peri-menopause and other health issues that involve vaginal bleeding.
14. Encourage employers and businesses across Wales to make basic period products freely available in toilet facilities for staff and visitors. The Welsh Government March 2025 Visitors and staff employed in businesses working within the private sector will be able to access free period products in spaces they are most likely to frequent.
15. Work with our trade unions, public services, private and third sectors to promote that workplace policies on period dignity and the menopause are in place. The Welsh Government March 2024 Employers will have considered the needs of their workforce in relation to period dignity and related issues such as the menopause, in order to offer reasonable adjustments and support to staff whose experience at work is negatively impacted by their periods.
16.

The Welsh Government will work towards becoming an exemplar employer ensuring the following:

  • Reviewing and re-publishing our menopause policy and working to include broader content on period dignity.
  • Providing period products for visitors and staff within the Welsh Government estate that are suitable and accessible for all.
  • Offer a suitable choice of products across the estate for those experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms, including very heavy periods and flooding.
  • Collaboration between the equalities and staff menopause working group in order to influence required change as necessary.
The Welsh Government March 2025

Staff working for the Welsh Government will have recourse to additional support when experiencing the peri-menopause and menopause, via a comprehensive policy.

Visitors and staff of the Welsh Government will be able to access free period products in spaces they are most likely to frequent. 

Ongoing work will be influenced by staff experience.

17. Collaborate (as appropriate) with the Wales TUC on any future work on the menopause, period dignity and support dissemination of best practice.

The Welsh Government

WTUC

March 2025 The collaboration will ensure best practice is shared and future policy is informed by evidence based on the experience of workers in Wales.

Education

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
18.

Work with stakeholders and other Government administrations to identify age-appropriate information and educational resources currently available and share these resources across appropriate platforms within primary and secondary schools (eg. Hwb), Further Education and Higher Education establishments.

The Welsh Government

By March 2022 Age-appropriate information and resources that currently exist will be available on appropriate platforms within schools, further education and higher education establishments; providing education support to pupils, teachers and teaching staff.
19.

Identify any gaps in the current provision of educational resources for learners and educators and work with stakeholders to fund the development of appropriate resources and explore the means by which these resources should be disseminated, in support of the inclusion of menstrual wellbeing in the curriculum.

The Welsh Government Curriculum team March 2022 A comprehensive suite of educational resources related to menstrual wellbeing will be available to learners, educators and parents across Wales. Resources will be inclusive and take into account the needs and experiences of a diverse group of learners.
20.

Provide access for disabled people to relevant information in appropriate forms.  Depending on specific impairments, this may include tactical tools or more audio-visual materials with sign language, or shorter session plans.

Ensure that parents, carers and teachers supporting disabled people can also access this information.

The Welsh Government March 2024

Disabled people, including those with learning impairments, will be supported to play a central role in recognising and defining the problems they experience and in creating resources that are effective and accessible.

21. Ensure period dignity is considered in future equality and education national guidance for schools, local authorities and FE colleges. The Welsh Government Equity in Education and Equalities teams March 2025 Future national equality and education guidance will consider period dignity.
22. Oversee and support implementation of the inclusion of menstrual wellbeing as part of the RSE code and monitor and respond to emerging issues.

Period Dignity Roundtable

The Welsh Government curriculum team

March 2025 Menstrual wellbeing will be taught in schools as part of the RSE code.
23.

Provide period products, via the period dignity grant to schools, Further Educational establishments and to communities across Wales.

Grant funding by the Welsh Government

Dissemination of product via local authorities.

Annual funding Children, young people and adults will be able to access free period products in spaces they are most likely to frequent. 
24.

Build on the promising work undertaken by universities in Wales, and continue to work with the HE sector to promote period dignity as part of institutions' well-being and health improving safeguarding policies and practices.

The Welsh Government

Universities Wales

HEFCW

March 2022 Students attending universities in Wales will benefit from provision, promotion and support around period dignity.
25. Assess whether learners feel they have access to appropriate facilities to enable them to manage their period in privacy, with dignity and in a healthy way and to engage with local authorities to resolve issues that are identified. We will involve learners from a diverse range of backgrounds in this process to fully understand their needs.

The Welsh Government

Roundtable members

Local authorities

FE Colleges

March 2025

Learners have access to appropriate facilities which enable them to manage their period in privacy, with dignity and in a healthy way.  Provision of period products will meet a wide range of diverse needs.

26. Ensure that the business case template for school investment under the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme includes information and key considerations to inform the development of facilities which promote and provide for period dignity.

The Welsh Government

Roundtable members

Local authorities

FE Colleges

March 2025

Learners have access to appropriate facilities which enable them to manage their period in privacy, with dignity and in a healthy way. Provision of period products will meet a wide range of diverse needs.

Sport and culture

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
27.

In partnership with Sport Wales, assess the impact of periods on participation in sport and exercise and consider options through which to improve and maintain participation levels for those who menstruate.

The Welsh Government

Sport Wales

March 2026

The impact of periods on the participation of those who menstruate in sport will be understood and actions will be designed to improve participation levels.
28.

Work with sports and cultural venues (including the museum and library estate and CADW run sites) to ensure period products are available to staff and visitors.

The Welsh Government

The National Library of Wales

CADW

Museums Wales

March 2026 Period products will be available across cultural and sports venues in Wales.

Tackling poverty

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
29.

Engage with those experiencing period poverty to better understand their experience and to use the findings of this engagement to help tackle disadvantage.

The Welsh Government March 2026 Lived experience of period poverty will inform future policy development and funding decisions.
30. The Race Equality Action Plan and the findings of the Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19 report, both contain a strong emphasis on tackling poverty, which disproportionately impacts on ethnic minority communities and disabled people. We will ensure the intersectional issues associated with period poverty and period dignity are considered as part the ongoing implementation of the Race Equality Action Plan and the findings of the Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19 report. The Welsh Government March 2026 The intersectional adverse impact of poverty, as it relates to period poverty, will be considered within the Welsh Government strategic and policy documents, covering a range of protected characteristics.
31.

Assess the feasibility of a P-card scheme and if appropriate, pilot a scheme, building on knowledge gained through the C-Card scheme in Wales.

The Welsh Government March 2026 Alternative methods of provision of period products will have been considered and findings used to inform future policy.

The environment

  Action Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
32.

Work with manufacturers, UK Government and Devolved Administrations to reduce plastic use in single use period products and to consider eco-friendly product development for period products.

The Welsh Government

March 2026

Products on offer to those who menstruate will be less harmful to the planet, more sustainable and offer a wider range of reusable options.

Within this work we will consider those with particular menstrual health conditions, cultural needs or for those who have experienced trauma to ensure appropriate products remain on offer.

33. In line with the Programme for Government commitment to legislate to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single use plastics and a commitment to phase out unnecessary single use plastics in our Circular Economy Strategy, we will fund education and training programmes (through the period dignity grant) to promote, support and increase use of reusable products and provide education and awareness around the disposal of single use products. We will ensure that education and training includes information to cater to the specific needs of disabled learners when considering the use of reusable products.

The Welsh Government

Pilot by March 2022

Ongoing

Through education and awareness raising we will shift cultural norms related to period products and increase accessibility and use of reusable period products.

We will see increased use of reusable period products over time.

34. Increase provision of plastic free products, products with reduced plastic content, reduced plastic packaging or packaging in general plastic free and reusable products year on year, aiming to ensure that 90 to 100% of the period products funded through the period dignity grant are plastic free, made or packaged with reduced plastic or reusable by 2026. This aim will be balanced with ensuring there is a choice of products available for those for whom reusable products are not culturally acceptable, restricted by the experience of poverty, living conditions (houses of multiple occupancy etc.) or are unsuitable due to an impairment or neurodiversity.

The Welsh Government

Local Government

March 2026

90 to 100% of the period products funded by the Welsh Government period dignity grant will be plastic free, products with reduced plastic content, reduced plastic packaging, packaging in general or reusable and therefore in support of the Welsh Government's wider commitments around tackling climate change.

Health and social services

 

Action

Who is responsible? When will it be done? What will be the outcome of this action? 
35.

Develop the NHS Wales Bloody Brilliant site to include information on how to access free period products in every local authority in Wales.

NHS Wales (Women’s Health Implementation Group)

The Welsh Government

Local Authorities

March 2022 Those who menstruate will be able to find local providers of free period products, local to them, using the site.
36. Scope options for collaboration between the Welsh Government, the NHS Wales Women’s Health Implementation groups and others to address intersecting women’s health issues, such as endometriosis and the menopause.

NHS Wales (Women’s Health Implementation Group)

The Welsh Government

March 2022 Those with expertise in intersecting women’s health issues will have been brought together to share knowledge and explore longer term collaborative partnerships which may lead to research and evidence that informs future policy in this area.
37. Ensure that work alongside NHS Wales, Social Care Wales and social care providers and commissioners to embed comprehensive and ongoing LGBTQ+ specific health and social care training to all staff, undertaken through implementation of the LGBTQ+ Action Plan, considers the needs of trans men in relation to periods and connected health issues, such as uptake of smears, use of contraception, pregnancy, ongoing and changing use of testosterone.

The Welsh Government

NHS Wales, Social Care Wales and social care providers and commissioners

March 2026 Health and social care based clinicians will have improved understanding, knowledge and awareness of the experience of periods for trans men and will be able to offer informed and sensitive practice which encourages important health practice such as smear uptake.
38. Assess current provision and consider options to provide period products within health areas such as hospitals, GP surgeries and community health spaces to patients, visitors and staff. The Welsh Government Department of Health March 2026 Period products will be available in healthcare spaces most suitable to community need.
39. Engage with stakeholders about the health inequalities still surrounding periods and take action to address any issues raised. The Welsh Government March 2026 Lived experience will inform future policy development in relation to period dignity and health inequality.
40.

Provide resources and information on matters such as unplanned pregnancy and safeguarding alongside period products (wherever safe and appropriate) to provide additional ways for children and young people to seek help, advice and report abuse.

The Welsh Government Safeguarding and Equalities team

Local Health Boards

Local Authorities

March 2023 Information to improve the wellbeing, health and safety of children and young people will be made available, alongside period products, in spaces that children and young people can access privately and safely.
41. Provide free products to inpatients in hospitals across Wales and identify options to widen this to generally accessed toilet facilities in hospitals and other health settings for patients, staff and visitors.

The Welsh Government

Local Health Boards

NHS Procurement Services

March 2026 Patients and other individuals on hospital sites will be able to access free period products in spaces they are most likely to frequent.
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