Julia Hartley-Brewer slams period poverty campaigner: 'You don't even know if it's an issue'

Julia Hartley-Brewer tells period poverty campaigner she has no idea 'whether there is an issue or not'

Tina Leslie says some can't afford sanitary products (Stock image)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Julia Hartley-Brewer had a heated argument with the founder of campaign group Freedom4Girls over whether girls actually struggle to access sanitary products in the UK.

Our host ended the conversation with Tina Leslie by telling her "you don't know whether there's an issue or not," and suggested that Leslie's estimate of the cost of sanitary products is far too high.

Scotland is to introduce free sanitary towels and tampons for women after it was claimed many girls miss school whilst on their period as they don't have sanitary products.

Leslie told Julia Hartley-Brewer the problem is "to do with access to the money that you need for everyday living.” She added “if you can’t afford food you can’t afford sanitary protection."

But when Julia asked what the annual cost was of sanitary products for the average woman, Leslie wasn't sure. Julia said she did her own research and claims it's £15 a year, which "is not a major amount of money, even for somebody who is on a very very low income."

Leslie argued: "It’s a lot of money when you’re living on a pound a day to feed your children."

She went on to talk about the issue of education and claims it needs to be improved so girls have a choice about what products to use. But Julia said "you are aware that virtually every girl who starts menstruating has, at some point, been on Google they’re sitting on their phones incessantly."

Leslie also said "in the next few weeks there will be some research out to show what percentage of maybe girls in schools are suffering period poverty."

Julia hit back and claimed "you’ve got a campaign and a policy but you’ve just admitted you don’t know whether there is an issue or not."

​Listen to the full interview above