The scheme began in 2020 and commits the UK government to providing period products to state schoolsAnnika Gordon/UNSPLASH

Amika George, a history student at Murray Edwards College, has received an MBE for her campaign for free period products in schools as part of the Queen’s birthday honours.

Her non-profit organisation provides period products at every state school and college in England following discussions with the U.K. government to ensure that students did not miss out on education due to periods.

She began her campaign in 2017 after learning that some pupils in the U.K. missed up to a week of school a month due to period poverty. In late 2017, a protest about period poverty outside Downing Street had more than 2,000 attendees and 180,000 people signed a petition.

The scheme for free period products began in 2020, with schools able to order as many period products as they needed. However, George stated that period poverty increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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Prior to the pandemic, pupils were able to pick up period products from their schools, and George noted: “I think that period poverty became worse. Hopefully, it is getting better now.”

The MBE acknowledges services to education. George said that although she saw the British Empire as a “horrific and exploitative endeavour,” she chose to accept the award because young people of colour are underrepresented in activism and politics.

George added: “I have a huge opportunity in accepting the award to draw attention to our lack of education around empire and Britain’s history, but also to show other young people, particularly from the Asian community, who maybe don’t feel very empowered politically, or don’t feel seen.”