While many of us women reach for a pad, tampon or Diva Cup during our period — some women may not be so lucky, as there are still women who are not adequately supplied when their cycle hits.
Over 137,000 children in the UK alone have skipped school due to period poverty, with 40 percent of girls being forced to use a toilet paper roll.
And if a girl misses school each time she menstruates, she is set back 145 days behind the boys in her class.
Daisy Wakefield, after learning this information, has used her very own student loan money to help fellow students who may be struggling with period poverty.
The 22-year-old, third year Drawing and Print student at the University of the West of England has spend hundreds on filling 40 boxes with tampons and sanitary towels.
She has even invested time in designing as well as designing stunning boxes for the products to be stored inside.
Daisy has gone through extensive training on the topic of period poverty as president of the UWE feminist society — campaigning consistently for free access to sanitary products for students.
Daisy first thought of the idea for the handmade boxes after getting upset with her university for failing to provide these basic items.
Daisy discussed how she first started getting involved with ending period poverty with UNILAD, saying:
“I became passionate about ending period poverty nearly four years ago when I was introduced to the pink tax. I believe period poverty is a feminist issue because not enough people are talking about periods let alone period poverty. Therefore, it leaves a lot of people feeling ashamed of their cycle but then further ashamed that they can’t even afford the necessary products.”
“One in 10 people who menstruate in the UK can’t afford sanitary products so this isn’t something that is just affecting a small fraction of people. You most likely know someone who is suffering from period poverty, which is why I felt I needed to do something.”
While the boxes have been distributed across UWE campuses for only a limited time — Daisy hopes they will have a lasting effect.
Daisy desires her university to organize a meeting and ASAP to hear her thoughts going forward.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of emails and messages from them suggesting I jump through certain hoops that I have in fact been doing through my three years at UWE.
Additionally, I want them to take this seriously. Universities provide FREE mental health support which they have invested money in. Why? Because people need that support. It’s the EXACT same with period poverty.”
“UWE and all universities need to stop turning to charities and volunteers such as the Women’s Forum to provide support and actually invest money to finally put an end to period poverty.”
Daisy continued, saying:
“My message is ultimately to destigmatize period poverty and menstruation as a whole. As a society we have been told to be quiet about our periods. So it’s no wonder people feel they can’t speak up about suffering with period poverty when so many can’t even talk about their period.”
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