De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU)’s Officer Team are taking matters into their own hands to ensure students at De Montfort University (DMU) have access to FREE sanitary products.
Products such as tampons and sanitary towels are subject to a 5% VAT rate, dubbed the ‘Tampon Tax’, and being classed as ‘luxury items’ rather than a basic necessity.
Now, Women’s Representative Sarah Burdett and Jessica Okwuonu, VP Welfare and Community at DSU, have campaigned to provide the products free of charge to students at De Montfort University (DMU).
Research from the project Freedom4Girls showed that across the UK, girls as young as 11 were missing school due to not being able to afford proper sanitary products.
The Officer Team hope to roll out the products to every gender neutral toilet within the Campus Centre.
Sarah explained: “These are essential products.
“We want to make student life easier, and so even if you’ve forgotten these essentials you should have the comfort in knowing that you can pick some up for free at uni rather than going all the way back home – and potentially not coming back.
“Students really shouldn’t be missing out on their education because they cannot afford sanitary products.”
Currently, the products can be found at the heart of campus from the DSU Reception on the ground floor of the Campus Centre.
Jessica said: “This campaign really breaks the barriers students can face in attaining every day essentials.
“I hope this can have a real positive effect on students’ lives”
The Officer Team hope to roll out the products to every gender neutral toilet within the Campus Centre, as well as female toilets within the building.
Gage Holland, LGBTQ+ Representative at DSU, is also undertaking a review of gender neutral toilet provision across campus.
Sanitary products are technically taxed as a 'luxury item' in the UK, with a 5% VAT rate.