In Scotland, appointment of male period dignity officer draws criticism

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — The appointment of a man to be Scotland's period dignity officer has drawn brickbats from all quarters.

Jason Grant was appointed by a group of colleges and local councils in the Tay region of eastern Scotland earlier this week. This follows the passing of a new law that provides free and universal access to menstrual products across the country, CNN reported.

Critics, however, argued that a woman would have been better suited for the job.

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova posted on Twitter: “Have we ever tried to explain to men how to shave or how to take care of their prostate or whatever? This is absurd.”

Grant's role is to coordinate and streamline the approach to 'Period Dignity' across the area by working directly with colleges and local authorities.

According to a press release to announce his appointment, Grant would lead a regional campaign across schools, colleges and wider communities, raising awareness and understanding of the new Act and ensuring that the Scottish Government funding is allocated appropriately.

The Period Products Act came into force on Monday (August 15) and means that menstrual products, including tampons and pads, will be made available at public facilities in Scotland.

It will be the responsibility of local authorities and education providers to ensure the products are free of charge.

On his appointment, Grant insisted that he had a lot to bring to the role.

“I think being a man will help me to break down barriers, reduce stigma and encourage more open discussions. Although affecting women directly, periods are an issue for everyone,” he said, adding that he will also work to raise awareness of menopause.

“It's time to normalise these topics and get real around the subject,” he added.

“I believe I can make progress by proving this isn't just a female topic, encouraging conversations across all genders and educating and engaging new audiences.”

A spokesperson for the working group that employed Grant said giving him the job “was a no-brainer with his vast experience in project management from both the private and public sectors.”

The 24-month role pays a salary of up to £36,126 (RM194,330) and is funded by the Scottish government.