If you’re about to start university in September, or are returning for another year, you might be thinking about what you’ll get up to afterwards. Perhaps you’ll end up working on inspirational campaigns like our former Politics student Laura Coryton…
‘One of the most important things studying at Goldsmiths taught me was this: always speak up about the issues you think are important. That’s why I started a petition to end tampon tax in 2012, when I was studying Politics at Goldsmiths. (Read more about that here).
Since then, a lot has changed. In total, 300,000 people signed my petition and together we changed EU and UK taxation law.
There’s now a petition against the tax we pay on period products in every continent across the world and the UK has even created the world’s first government-led period poverty taskforce to make sure no girl misses her education because of her period. That’s pretty amazing. You just have to look at this progress to realise how much we can change together.
Speaking up about the politics behind periods and sex education is important. In the UK, 49% of schoolgirls have missed an entire day of school because they’ve been taught to feel embarrassed about their periods.
At least 33% of girls are routinely harassed for nude photos by their peers and only 13% of girls feel comfortable talking about consent with their partner. Most of these things happen, at least in part, because we don’t teach consent in schools. These statistics are scary and heartbreaking… but we can change them.
That’s why I’m now setting up “Sex Ed Matters” with my two best friends, Gussie and Sian. We’re a new social enterprise dedicated to tackling sex and relationship taboos in UK schools.
We’ll give talks and workshops that deliver the government’s amazing new RSE curriculum to students across the country. Our talks will cover really important topics like periods, consent, FGM, gender stereotypes, staying safe online, mental health and LGBT education.
To make sure kids are 21st-century-ready we’ll teach these topics through activism so that kids know how to empower themselves by fighting against the barriers they face. Check out our crowdfunder here and let us know why you think Sex Ed Matters by sending us a selfie like mine above using our hashtag: #SexEdMatters!’