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Sanitary products’ high price results in girls’ low attendance

Credits: Suruthi
Watford Grammar School for Girls (See more work from this school)
Smiling sanitary

Girls in the UK aren’t attending school because they can’t afford sanitary products. Usually we hear about women in third world countries not affording sanitary products however it is happening right on our doorstep.

After Freedom4Girls were contacted by a school in Leeds about this issue that resulted in girls’ low attendance, BBC Radio Leeds interviewed a teenage girl, who said that she taped toilet paper to her underwear and missed school "every month" because of her period. Another girl said she wrapped a whole tissue roll around her underwear to keep it dry until she got home. Moreover she said “my mum was a single parent and she had five mouths to feed, so there wasn't much leftover money in the pot to be giving to us."

This raises a question: should free sanitary products be given to those with financial problems? It would be ideal, however it would be quite difficult to provide. NHS could provide sanitary product but they might want to invest in other beneficial things.  “It would be smart to give sanitary products to people with lower income, “said Miss Hibbert, health and welfare officer at WGGS, "but we all know the government is struggling with funding. This may be the reasons why sanitary products are taxed." However, why are men’s’ shaving items tax free and labelled as essential while sanitary products are called luxury items.  

Throughout the country, some teachers provide their students with these items with their own money as families are increasingly under financial stress. To help their students, some schools obtain free donated sanitary products for certain year groups from sanitary product manufacturers. 

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