On Wednesday, December 20, hundreds of people took to the streets of Westminster to protest against period poverty.
You may think that period poverty is something that only affects women and girls in far-away countries, but the shocking reality is that in the UK, girls are regularly missing school because their families cannot afford the tampons and sanitary towels they need during their periods. Amika George, who started the #FreePeriods campaign when she realised that although many people were outraged by period poverty nothing was being done to combat it, organised the #FreePeriods protest along with Scarlett Curtis and Grace Campbell of The Pink Protest.
The protest wants the government to ensure that every girl who receives free school meals gets free sanitary protection. They also want to smash the taboos around periods and normalise conversations about menstruation, because ending the stigma is half the battle when it comes to normalising something which affects, has affected or will affect 50 per cent of the population.
Many celebrities turned out to speak at and support the #FreePeriods protest, including Adwoa Aboah, Daisy Lowe, Deborah Frances-White, Aisling Bea and Sara Pascoe. There were also a number of related charities at the event including Binti, who work across the world to bring sanitary projects to women and girls, and Project Period, a crowdfunding venture set up by teenage girls to bring Mooncups to girls in Kenya.
To find out more and sign the petition, visit freeperiods.org.