Scottish Government distance themselves from Tayside's male period officer

·2-min read
Scottish Government distance themselves from Tayside's male period officer
Scottish Government distance themselves from Tayside's male period officer

THE SCOTTISH Government has moved to distance itself from the decision to hire a man as a Period Dignity Officer in Tayside.

News of former tobacco salesman and fitness instructor Jason Grant’s appointment sparked a furious backlash online.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova described it as “f*****g ridiculous.”

Writer Susan Dalgety, described it as “institutionalised mansplaining.”

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said it would have been better had the job gone to a women.

READ MORE: Man appointed as period dignity officer was 'strongest candidate'

Details of the appointment were first shared yesterday as new legislation came into force making Scotland the first country in the world to protect the right to free period products in law.

Initially, the Period Dignity Working Group, which comprises Dundee and Angus College, Angus Council, Dundee City Council and Perth College, claimed Jason Grant’s £36,000 a year role "raising awareness and understanding of the Period Product Act" was funded by ministers.

However, a spokesperson for the government said this was not quite correct.

While the Scottish Government set aside more than £6.1 million to fund free products, it was up to local authorities, colleges and universities across Scotland to “decide through consultation what works best in their area responding to local need and circumstances.“

Responding to the outrage, a spokesperson for the Period Dignity Working Group insisted Mr Grant was the best candidate for the job.

They said: “This new role, funded by the Scottish Government, was created to promote and implement new legislation, specifically focused on project management.

“The role builds on some fantastic work which has been gathering speed across the Tay region for several years, led by a passionate group of people of all genders, ages and backgrounds.

“With all partners in the working group Equal Opportunities Employers, Jason was the strongest candidate.

“By changing the culture, encouraging debate and removing the stigma around periods, we look forward to supporting the delivery of this important work across the region.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson made clear that the role and the recruitment was entirely down to the Tayside Period Dignity Working Group.

They said: “The Scottish Government does not have any involvement in these posts or appointments nor do we fund them directly.

“Subject to some statutory requirements, it is for each individual organisation to determine how to meet their duties under the Period Products Act and they have been empowered by the Act to decide through consultation what works best in their area responding to local need and circumstances.

“Some local authorities are appointing staff to ensure they are complying with their new duties and making free products in line with the Act, ensuring there is information available on where to access the products, and also tackling issues such as the stigma that still surrounds accessing period products.”