Government announces funding for menstrual products in all secondary schools across England

The government has today announced that they will be pledging funds to end period poverty in secondary schools across England. 

This scheme, which will start in September, will echo the one already in place in Scotland with the Treasury expected to fund this in full. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond is expected to announce that menstrual products will be available to all girls who need them on Wednesday, as part of the Spring statement. 

In the UK, an estimated 49 per cent of girls have missed an entire day of school becuase of their periods, while 10 per cent of young women between the ages of 14 and 21 are unable to afford sanitary products. 

This announcement comes off the back of a two-year campaign championed by Amika George, who was just 17 when she began the petition calling for an end to period poverty in UK schools. 

George, who the Standard recently profiled as one of our female game-changers, commented: “This is a victory for everyone who has been campaigning to eradicate period poverty in schools. Periods should never hold back a child from achieving their true potential, and now, after two years of campaigning, we will see menstrual products available for free in all English secondary schools. We’re going to keep fighting for better education and work to destigmatise periods. This is a huge step forward for gender equality. We are thrilled that the government has listened and this is proof that activism works.”

George’ campaign, #FreePeriods saw an outpouring of support when 2,000 people gather in London outside Downing Street in December 2017 to call out the UK government’s failure to take action against period poverty.

Protesters descended on Westminster to campaign against period poverty

On January 8 this year, Free Periods joined forced with the Red Box Project to launch a new legal campaign and began working with human rights lawyers to construct a legal case to help end period poverty. The campaign called for the Government to provide equal access to education, by providing free menstrual products in all schools, colleges and universities.

This announcement by the government, which fittingly comes the day after International Women’s Day, means that no young girl will have to miss school and thus miss out on her education simply for having her period. Cheers to that. 


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