Should sanitary products be free? #UnifiedFem

Some schools, colleges and universities across the UK have introduced free sanitary products to fight period poverty.

Every school, college and university in Scotland now has access to free sanitary products as part of a £5.2 million scheme to end period poverty.

According to The Guardian, the Scottish government is the first in the world to introduce free sanitary products to all of its 365,000 students and pupils to help ”banish the scourge of period poverty” – when girls and women struggle to pay for basic sanitary products on a monthly basis, significantly impacting on their hygiene, health and wellbeing.

A recent survey of more than 2,000 people by Young Scot found that one in four respondents at school, college or university in Scotland had struggled to access sanitary products.

The average woman spends more than £150 a year on sanitary products.

Canterbury Christ Church Students’ Union are also issuing free sanitary products again this year.

Jamie Harris, President of Wellbeing at Christ Church said:

“Christ Church Students’ Union will be providing free sanitary products again this year as we want to follow the government initiative to help ”banish the scourge of period poverty” among students.

“I think this is a necessary thing we needed within our SU and I think all universities should be encouraging this initiative.”

Some Christ Church students shared their frustration under Jamie’s post, stating that the free sanitary products should be placed in the toilets rather than in the reception at the Student Union, as this could be embarrassing for some students.

CCCU student, Natalie Moore told UnifiedFem:

“I believe that sanitary products should be made available in both male and female toilets (as I feel the current placement of the free products is a little public at the moment) to support transgender equality.”

Being transgender can be difficult enough, with regards to other people’s views and opinions on the topic, and I feel that making sanitary products available to transgender men, as well as biological females (and others who menstruate) would provide everybody an equal opportunity, and make the university even more inclusive.”

Earlier this month, Australia announced that they had scrapped the tampon tax.

Federal and state governments agreed to scrap the controversial tax on sanitary products following protests since the  GST was introduced in 2000.

India also scrapped its 12% tax on sanitary products in July following similar campaigns.

The UK still maintains a 5% tax, but activists have called for it to be removed.

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