February 15, 2023, by UoN School of English
How the University is tackling period poverty
What is Period Poverty?
Period Poverty is a problem evident all around the world that can impact anyone with a menstrual cycle. Many factors have contributed to a rise in Period Poverty; one of the most prominent being inflation of prices. This has meant many people cannot access hygienic and safe sanitary products. As this continues to be a taboo subject amongst mainstream societal discussion, there remains a lack of available information and support in society for those experiencing menstruation.
Effect on education
Over 137,000 children in the UK have missed school because they cannot afford period products. As a result, they are at risk of missing out on vital education and falling behind their peers. This therefore makes it clear that many students are living in Period Poverty and that could potentially lead to gender inequality within education.
As an educational institution, The University of Nottingham is very aware of the issue of students potentially missing their education due to period poverty. With a focus on equality and inclusivity, they have taken action with a scheme called Project Period. This was launched by Chris Denning and Kavita Raniga from the University to provide accessible sanitary products in all bathrooms of the University of Nottingham- national and international. The products include tampons and sanitary pads and are free within the university for use by anyone with a menstrual cycle. These are provided by donations, funding and volunteers. By January 2023, the project had distributed 45,000 sanitary products.
As well as this, the University’s commitment to sustainability has gone the extra mile by ensuring the products are made from sustainable sources such as bamboo and do not contain plastic or harmful chemicals. This shows there is also a focus on the environment whilst tackling period poverty.
In what other ways is the University tackling this problem?
There are many other ways the University is tackling the problem! One such way is through providing interactive workshops that deliver an overview of menstruation as well as exploring different conditions such as endometriosis. By having accessible events on throughout the year, the aim is to help in reducing the stigma of this taboo subject and to get people talking to make everyone feel listened to and included in a friendly atmosphere.
It is clear that if any student is struggling with getting sanitary products or are seeking advice, the University of Nottingham is always there to help!
– Kate Hayhurst
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