‘Period dignity officer’ role axed after criticism over man's appointment
The role of one of Scotland's "period dignity officers" has been axed.
It comes after a major backlash erupted over the decision to appoint a man to the position, which involved promoting access to free sanitary products in schools and colleges in the Tay region.
Jason Grant, from Dundee, was also set to discuss issues around the menopause as part of the job.
Critics of last month’s announcement argued that the role should have been given to a woman.
But Dundee & Angus College confirmed on Tuesday that the position would not continue, and asked that a “spirit of kindness” is extended to those involved in the Period Dignity Working Group, which includes representatives of Dundee and Angus College, Perth College, Angus Council and Dundee City Council.
A spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group said: “It is regrettable that given the threats and abuse levelled at individuals in recent weeks, the Period Dignity Regional Lead Officer role will not continue."
“The working group is now looking closely at alternative ways to deliver these vital services in line with the legal requirements of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021."
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“Meanwhile, support will continue to be provided to the colleagues and students who have been subjected to personal attack. Their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance.
“The group’s joint work to provide free period products is rooted in kindness. We therefore ask that the same spirit of kindness is extended to those involved, and that their privacy is respected.”
Mr Grant’s appointment was the first role of its kind in the country, but sparked an outcry across social media.
Former tennis star Martina Navratilova said choosing Mr Grant for the role was “ridiculous”, while Susan Dalgety, a newspaper columnist and women’s rights campaigner, tweeted: “I have no idea why anyone thought it was a good idea to appoint a bloke.”
SNP MP Ian Blackford said at the time that a woman would be better for the role, telling Sky News: “I think it’s important that we get the policy right, I think it’s important that we implement it and I would have thought, as a principle, it would be far better that women are in these posts than anyone else.”