The Welsh government was seemingly forced to u-turn on plans not to include the words ‘women’ and ‘girls’ in their new Period Dignity campaign, launched this week. The action plan Period Proud Wales, published on Wednesday by Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt, states the “language within this plan aims to be inclusive and to consider the experience of women, girls and anyone who menstruates”.
“this plan includes use of the terms “women”, “girl”, “those who menstruate”, “learner” and “patient” throughout. In order to be inclusive, the term “women, girls and person who menstruates” will be used most frequently to encompass all affected by this plan”
Naturally, from the parliament that currently provides tampons in the men’s bogs…
According to the consultation published alongside the action plan, however, Drakeford’s government wasn’t originally planning to acknowledge women or girls at all. The consultation ran from October 2021 to January 2022, and one-third of the respondents raised concerns that the original draft had an “absence of references to women and girls”. They cite one example response:
“Please stop erasing women from our own health matters. It is not inclusive language if we are being pushed aside. Inclusive language would be “female” or “women, transmen and non-binary”. Women’s health is specific to women – not people. Not referring to us as women will lead to the message not getting out to women.”
Other respondents accused the initial women erasure of being “dehumanising” and alleging the government’s decision risked creating “a new euphemism around menstruation.”
The consultation report says that “an appeal to use the words ‘women’ and ‘girls’ rather than ‘people’ was by far the strongest theme of the responses.” Of the 198 responses along these lines, just 12 argued the plan should use the language of “women, girls and transmen and non-binary people”. Is it any wonder Drakeford still wants to copy Sturgeon’s disastrous plan to allow male rapists into women’s prisons…