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About the campaign

Irise / Every Period Counts / About the campaign

Every Period Counts- Time to Shift the Shame


Every day students are missing out on class because of period poverty and shame.

Join the movement and make the right to period products and education in schools a reality for everyone. Period.

The Problem


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:

  • 1 in 4 girls are struggling to access period products, up from 1 in 10 before the pandemic (Plan International UK)
  • 54% of girls and young women do not feel comfortable accessing period products at school (Girl Guiding 2022)
  • Nearly 70% of girls aren’t allowed to use the toilet during class (Plan International UK)

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.

What We Want


We’re calling for action from schools, local and national government on shame free access to period products, information and support for all students.

We want:

  1. All UK schools to make free period products available in a shame free way to everyone who needs them.
  2. The UK government to commit to a new action plan to eradicate period poverty and shame in UK schools by 2025
  3. Politicians to make period dignity a right by legislating for it in England and Wales

How You Can Get Involved


On Global Menstrual Health Day (28th May) you can help make your right to period products and education in school a reality:

  1. Share Your Period Story– tell us about your experiences of having your period in school and why you need things to change
  2. Write to your School and MP- join our online community for training and information about how you can write to your own school and MP as part of the campaign
  3. Join the Period Parade– on 28th May at 1pm we are gathering in Westminster to deliver our stories and demands to 10 Downing Street in a shame shifting parade of red glitter, feathers and period power.

Information for schools


View our information for schools and college, and how you can help with the campaign here.

About our live tracker


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: 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.