No one should have to live through period poverty, and to eliminate it at ARU, HEMS VP Divya Agarwal made sure that the university provides access to free sanitary products for all!
Being unable to afford or access period products can have a significant impact on young people. Students are less likely to have access to their own income, and therefore may be unable to afford period products. This is evidenced by Plan International UK research which found that 1 in 7 girls surveyed in the UK had struggled to afford period products whilst 1 in 10 had been unable to afford products. It is recognised that period poverty can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of women, girls and trans people. Using period products for longer periods of time than is recommended or using unsuitable alternatives can lead to infections and health issues.
Knowing that period poverty is a horrible, and potentially health-threatening thing to live with, I decided to make sure that those in need of sanitary products whilst at ARU did not go without. As such I created this campaign with 2 simple objectives in mind:
• To ensure that period products are made available free of charge on a universal basis;
• Require education providers to make period products available free of charge in on-site toilets for women, girls, trans and disabled students.
I found that some parts of ARU had sanitary products on offer but at a charge, and significant areas of the university had none accessible at all. After meeting with university staff, and making it clear that it is unacceptable that this could be occurring on our campuses, ARU agreed to provide access to sanitary products in all bathrooms.
Women, girls and menstruating trans people being able to reach their full potential in education by removing the barriers to their full participation is extremely important, and the provision of these products has the potential to improve the lives of future generations by allowing them to fully participate in education, as well as reducing risks to health and dignity.
If you are ever in need of sanitary products and the campus bathrooms are out of stock, visit our toilets at the SU Space or our front desk. We'll make sure that no one at ARU has to go without.