Amika George, a first year History undergraduate at Murray Edwards College, started campaigning on period poverty two years ago. Having read that some girls in the UK were missing school because they could not afford to buy sanitary products, she decided to start an online petition lobbying the government to provide free tampons and sanitary pads for girls from low income families.
The #FreePeriods campaign has gained considerable momentum and support over the past two years and on Wednesday 13 March, the government announced a free sanitary product scheme for girls in secondary schools and colleges in a bid to combat period poverty.
Amika, who has described the government’s announcement as a “huge step forward”, wrote in The Independent: “We need this scheme to be extended to all children in full-time compulsory education, including primary schools…Periods should not be holding any girl back, and her potential as an individual should never be undermined because of them.”
Dame Barbara Stocking, President of Murray Edwards College, comments: “We are very proud of Amika. Her continued efforts to ensure no girl is unable to go to school because she can’t afford to buy sanitary products, is inspirational and aligns strongly with our belief at Murray Edwards that any young woman who has the passion and drive to succeed, will do so.”