Every Period Counts- Time to Shift the Shame
In 2019 the government envisioned a UK free of period poverty and shame by 2025 but the reality falls far short of that.
Despite the UK government committing to provide free period products in schools and colleges in England in 2020 and the Welsh & Scottish governments introducing similar schemes, the support is not reaching those that need it most:
Young people are sick of missing out on class, sports and other opportunities because their society won’t prioritise their basic needs. They are done with feeling ashamed and are claiming their right to menstruate with dignity in UK schools.
We’re calling for action from schools, local and national government on shame free access to period products, information and support for all students.
On Global Menstrual Health Day (28th May) you can help make your right to period products and education in school a reality:
View our information for schools and college, and how you can help with the campaign here.
The live tracker on the every period counts campaign page displays a live estimate of the number of school periods (or lessons) that have been missed in the UK due to period poverty, inequality and shame so far this academic year.
We have combined ONS data about population levels, the UK government’s own estimates of the percentage of people menstruating in different age categories, and data on average school absence due to periods from a 2019 whitepaper (available here: https://www.phs.co.uk/media/2401/phs_periodpovery-whitepaper.pdf) to produce this estimate and have assumed a school day contains 8 periods. We have contacted the Department for Education to request more up to date data if available and will update the counter accordingly.
Although the 2019 whitepaper predates the introduction of the free period product schemes now in operation in England, Scotland, and Wales, other evidence (outlined above) suggests that this problem is getting worse, not better and we believe this data to be the most-up-to-date available.