More than 137,000 pupils in the UK missed school because of their period in 2018Wolfmann

As of today, sanitary products will be available for young girls in all state schools and colleges in England with the launch of a scheme funded by the Department for Education.

Amika George, a second-year student at Murray Edwards and founder of the Free Periods movement, first called upon the government to provide free menstrual products in all schools in 2017.

An estimated 1.7 million students will benefit from this service. The government is looking to spend up to £20m over the course of this year.

“We are delighted that every student across the country will be able to access free period products at their school or college,” said Amika.

“We have fought for three years to bring about this change in government policy, and this progress is a testament to the power of grassroots activism and the difference that we can make when we come together to fight for our rights”.

The Free Periods movement has also started a global campaign to tackle period poverty in schools, aiming to encourage both men and women to speak freely about periods in order to break down its stigma and “embrace the power of the period”.

“For too long, young people have been told that periods are dirty, secret or shameful. We need to tackle the stigma that persists around menstruation before we can achieve real gender equality,” said Amika.


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42% of 14 to 21 year olds in the UK claim to use substitute sanitary protection such as socks or paper to replace sanitary products, according to a recent survey.

More than 137,000 pupils in the UK missed school because of their period in 2018, said Rosamund McNeil, assistant general secretary of the National Education Union.

CUSU Council voted to support the provision of free menstrual products across the whole university, both in colleges and in departments, last year.

Cambridge nightclub Fez hosted the first ‘Playtime X Free Periods’ party in February last year. After much success, a follow up event ‘Period Party: The 2nd Cycle’ took place in October. Students were encouraged to wear red and all proceeds went to Free Periods.

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