Tuesday 23-02-2021 - 15:08
Proposed by: University of Manchester Students' Unions
Please be advised this is not an NUS position, but a policy submitted to National Conference 2021.
Period poverty is a global issue that can affect anyone who does not have access or has limited access to menstrual products due to financial constraints. It is commonly presented in developing countries. However, period poverty is also recognised as a problem that a quarter of women in the UK struggle to cope with.
In 2020, Plan International UK found that almost a third (30%) of girls struggle to afford sanitary products since lockdown started. Meanwhile, studies show that lack of access to period products can have a far-reaching effect on young women’s lives, with those suffering from period poverty being least likely to complete their education and more likely to struggle to find employment.
It’s clear that tackling period poverty in Further and Higher Education is an essential issue and needs to see real change because students who struggle to afford sanitary products have to risk their health by using menstrual items for longer than is safe or by using makeshift alternatives like toilet paper, used socks, other fabric or even newspaper. This carries an increased risk of infection and ineffective at controlling bleeding, which can further result in students missing their education or work due to their anxiety over their period.
Since the Scottish government had been the first government in the world to pledge to provide free menstrual products in every school, college and university, we are demanding that England should also follow suit to let all students have access to period supplies for students at all levels. Because when periods are not a choice, sanitary products should also not treated as a luxury and let students suffer alone from this extra burden.
If you are a Students’ Union and would like to put your name to this proposal, please complete this form