We already sell sanitary products not-for-profit in the SU shop, but from International Women’s Day (8 March!) they will become freely available in the gender-neutral toilets in Union House.
On International Women’s Day, I am launching the ‘Bloody Good’ campaign, which will make sanitary towels and tampons freely available in the gender-neutral toilets in Union House for the rest of the year.
Any student that needs sanitary products will now be able to access them for free on campus, a move which follows in the footsteps of Kings College London, Kent and Leeds in a bid to end the period tax.
Why do we need to make periods free?
NUS statistics show that the average person spends around £77 per year on sanitary products – that’s 23 meal deals! Sanitary items are necessary for health and hygiene, and I believe that it’s unfair to discriminate against people who have periods by forcing them to pay for such essential items. Why should people be able to obtain free contraception if they choose to engage in sexual activity, but not have access to free care for a natural bodily function?
But it’s more than just the cost of the sanitary products themselves. In 2014, we started selling tampons, sanitary towels and mooncups at cost price in protest against the 5% VAT slapped on by the Government. Sanitary products should not be classed as a luxury item, and more importantly, major companies should not be allowed to profit from items which are essential to the health and hygiene of over half the population.