Period poverty is a worldwide issue that needs to be more openly discussed. Here at De Montfort Students’ Union we want to ensure that we are tlking about this topic and doing as much as we can to raise awareness of period poverty.
Volunteering Opportunities Frontrunner Becky Hilditch has bought period poverty to the forefront through her new campaign, #PeriodProudDSU. Becky has said that her “end goal is for De Montfort to follow in Newcastle University’s footsteps, to provide free sanitary products throughout campus for students.”
What is period poverty?
Periods are a natural process and is not a choice. The issue that is faced by 27% of women across the country who are struggling to find the financial funds to properly care for themselves during their period.
Due to this, those affected may take time off, use sanitary products for longer than they should or use makeshift sanitary products. There are dangers that come with these kinds of solutions including missed opportunities and learning, risk of infection and loss of focus.
Becky’s thoughts on the matter are that “In a society where so much has been developed, it is horrendous that people are still facing the issue.”
Why are DSU supporting period poverty?
Leicester is in the top 5 cities for period poverty, with 35% of women who live in Leicester being affected by it (figures according to a Leicester Mercury article published in February 2019).
The reality of this is that period poverty could be affecting “our friends, neighbours, [or] course mates”, Becky makes us aware of how close to home this issue is.
How can I support this campaign?
On Wednesday 4 December there will be a meeting help in the Campus Centre in Function Room 2 at 1-3pm which is open to all DMU students and staff from all backgrounds, to discuss period poverty. This is a chance to learn more information about the campaign, meet others who are passionate about the topic and sign up to a student group aimed to tackle Period Poverty.
This student group will be in charge of organising a survey in term 2 and hosting fundraising events for local charity, ‘the Y’, who support homeless and vulnerable women and youth/ They provide sanitary products to those who live in their shelters, all free of cost.
Becky leaves us with this: “This issue is something that desperately needs addressing.
“It is ridiculous that I can go to several different places and pick up condoms for free, using a C card, but yet sanitary products, that ARE a necessity, aren’t offered to those who cannot afford them.
“We need to change this, I am working on this project because I believe in equality. Do you?
“Together we can fight period poverty, on our campus and in our community.”