We hope everyone is beginning to settle into Cambridge life. This week we’re discussing one of our target campaigns for this term – the Period Poverty Campaign.
It’s a campaign that we’ve all probably heard about in the media recently since some shocking statistics were released:
- 1 in 10 menstruating people aged 14-21 can’t afford pads or tampons.
- Many UK women will spend more than £18,000 on periods in their lifetime
- Additionally, 68,000 women are currently homeless, and in the last 5 years, the number of women sleeping rough has dramatically increased. However, this issue doesn’t just impact those who are sleeping on the streets, but those who also struggle on a day-to-day basis to pay for basic sanitary products.
- As a substitute, there have been many cases of women and girls using clothing or socks in place of pads and tampons.
Not only is this a shocking and degrading situation for all menstruating people facing these difficulties; but yet again, we find those affected are disproportionately women and young girls. Sanitary products are no luxury, but a basic necessity – this is an issue of women’s rights and dignity.
So, we must now ask ourselves what we can do.
Our upcoming Environmenstruation Workshop will run on Tuesday, 16th October at 5:30pm in Robinson College. Run by the Women’s Environmental Network, it will be an evening of discussion about how periods affect our bodies and our planet. We will be asking if we really know what our menstrual products are made of and how we might be harming our bodies and the planet each month. Menstruating people are faced with limited choice, limited access to information, and a cloud of taboos surrounding periods, but increasing issues regarding environmental and menstruating people’s health have made us question the truths around periods. This will be a chance to learn why period action is so pressing, not only for women who cannot afford basic sanitary products, but for all women who want to make a positive change in their society and on the planet.
Other events coming up:
- Sleeping Rough in Cambridge: Problems and Solutions, 16th October, 7 pm, Trinity College
- Environmenstrual Festival, 19th October, 6pm, London
- CUSU Womcam Period Poverty Round Table, 20th November, 7pm, CUSU Lounge
We will also be campaigning this term to get all colleges to provide free menstrual products to all menstruating people as a basic necessity. Additionally, working in partner with colleges and JCRs, we will encourage them to not only provide pads and tampons, but more sustainable solutions to tackle period poverty with a view to their long-term environmental impacts.
- Check out this awesome infographic on how our periods affect the planet!
- Check out Bloody Good Period for more information on period poverty and how companies and charities are combating it.
- Find the Women’s Environmental Network here.
Alice and Jake