Today, Amika George, Founder of Free Periods and‘periodpoverty’activist, has announced a new legal campaign to provide free menstrual products to all schoolchildren.
The campaign launches with a Crowdfunding drive to raise funds for exploratory legal work and in support of the broader legal campaign, with the requirement that £10k must be raised in 30 days for any of the pledges to be collected.
The Free Periods campaign, in partnership with the Red Box Project and supported byThe Pink Protest, seeks to ensure that menstrual products should be freely available in schools to all children who need them. Access to education is a fundamental human right, and Free Periods believes that no child should be forced to miss school as a result of not being able to afford pads or tampons.
Free Periods is being advised by the human rights team at Law firm Hausfeld & Co.
This new legal campaign follows the one year anniversary of the Free Periods protest to end period poverty, where over 2,000 people gathered outside Downing Street to call out the UK government’s failure to take action against period poverty.
Jay Kelly of the Red Box Project in Harrogate said:
This is fantastic news. Let’s hope that we can get our government to follow Scotland’s example, and supply all schools and colleges with menstrual products. In the meantime, we will keep supplying our local schools, as well as trying to make a difference on a longer standing national level by campaigning for change.
We will keep all of our supportive donators updated with the progress.
In the UK, 49% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period, whilst 1 in 10 young women (aged 14-21) have been unable to afford period products . In London alone, 80,000 young women 1 and girls are affected by period poverty.
2018 saw significant progress for the cause in Britain, with the Scottish government becoming the first national government ever to provide free access to menstrual products in all schools, colleges and universities, whilst in Wales, the government pledged £1m to address period poverty. In England, we still have no policies in place.
The campaign also launches with a film made by Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lina Plioplyte, featuring Amika and ten schoolgirls from London.
The #FreePeriods short film is here! It features girls from schools in London, including my own. It’s powerful. Please watch, please share and please get involved here: https://t.co/IH1gErdXi6 pic.twitter.com/VB2wAAgbIl
— Amika George (@AmikaGeorge) January 8, 2019
Amika George, Founder of Free Periods commented:
I am tired of the government’s inaction and so, just over one year on from our Free Periods protest to Parliament, I am proud to launch a legal campaign, calling on the UK government to provide free, universally accessible menstrual products in schools and colleges.
With support from others, we are confident that we can bring positive change to our communities by offering young girls access to the menstrual products they need in order to participate in their education, which is their fundamental human right.
Anna Miles, Co-Founder of the Red Box Project and director of Free Periods, added:
We are proud to provide thousands of schools with red boxes of free period products.
This is made possible by the kindness and generosity bestowed upon us by local communities across the UK and the hard work of our over 200 volunteer coordinators.
But access to education should not rely on the kindness of others. It is time for the government to step up.