At Goldsmiths SU we firmly believe that periods aren’t a luxury - in fact in 2014 we passed policy stating that sanitary products shouldn’t be taxed. We now sell sanitary products in the SU Shop at a tax-free, non-profit price.
However, we know that sanitary products are still expensive. The average person spends approximately £11 per 28 day cycle on products - that works out about £128 a year. If you want to see how much you’ve spent on them in your life, use this handy BBC tool. Urgh, so unfair!
But we’re here to help as we’re officially re-launching our free sanitary product campaign ‘It’s Only A Bloody Period!’ You may not be aware but we’re able to offer free pads and tampons to anyone who has a period and needs them. All you have to do is fill in our form and collect your bag from the Welcome Desk between Tuesday - Thursday, 10am - 3.30pm.
Period poverty is real and as an educational institution, we believe that Goldsmiths has a duty to ensure no barriers to education exist for those who suffer from it. Plan International’s 2017 report found that 48% of girls aged 14-21 in the UK were embarrassed by their periods. Up to 15% have struggled to afford sanitary products and 10% have been completely unable to afford sanitary products, at one time or another. This is an international problem, too. In Rwanda, many girls miss up to 50 days of school or work every year because of period poverty and stigma. (source)
We are not alone in wanting to pave the way for the revolution of free sanitary products for all. We want the University to join other institutions like Edinburgh and Newcastle to do the same. UEA SU were the first to sell sanitary products tax free in their shop (source), Strath Union were the first to give them away for free and Newcastle University became the first University in the UK to do so, after campaigning from their SU. We want Goldsmiths University to do the same.
For now, if you’re struggling to afford your sanitary products, please don’t be embarrassed. Just fill in the form above and we’ll do what we can to help you.