Free sanitary products for primary schools, Department for Education announces this week

Katherine Johnston (16 April, 2019) Health

'Every student can go to school without the anxiety or stress of worrying where their next pad or tampon will come from'

26899Artist Georgina Hodges, in a jacket made out of tampons

Free sanitary products will be offered to girls in all primary schools in Southwark after a Department for Education announcement this week.

The news comes after the government agreed to fund complimentary tampons and sanitary towels at secondary schools and sixth form colleges last month.

Taking to twitter, Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman, the longest continuously serving female MP in the House of Commons, said: “This is important for young girls and also another step towards destigmatisation of periods.

“When I was a girl it was a shameful mystery only mentioned in hushed whispers – if at all!”

Amika George, founder of #FreePeriods, which campaigned for the change, said: “With free access to menstrual products for every child in compulsory education, every student can go to school without the anxiety or stress of worrying where their next pad or tampon will come from.

“This commitment will ensure that all children can fully participate in lessons and focus in class, and their period will never hold them back.”

Campaigners in Southwark had pushed for free sanitary products in schools to help tackle period poverty in the borough – one with some of the highest levels of child poverty in the UK.

Among them was Bermondsey-based artist and campaigner Georgina Hodges, who makes art from sanitary products to raise awareness and help end the taboo of menstruation.

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