Menstruation is something that we don’t talk about enough. Period poverty and period stigma are two real issues that occur every day. Nobody should feel ashamed about their period, or be unable to access the correct products and support.
We wanted to know how our students at Canterbury Christ Church University feel about menstruation and their experiences. 193 students filled in our survey, and some of the statistics are extremely eye opening.
53% of respondents have missed a lecture due to their period.
55% of respondents have been on campus with no access to a period product.
41% of respondents have struggled to afford period products.
26% of respondents have struggled to access a sanitary bin on campus.
85% of respondents feel that there is a stigma around periods.
At Christ Church Students’ Union, we believe that all students should have access to sanitary products and bins when they need them. 2020 saw the launch of our Period Awareness Campaign, where we challenged period stigma as well as provided free products to our students. Since that launch, we have given away over 18,400 products to our students across campuses.
So what are we doing this period awareness week?
We are doing a survey of all toilets on campus to look at the sanitary bins and dispensers that are available.
We are handing out free sanitary products to students.
We are lobbying the university to provide free sanitary products to all students who need them.
We are installing a sanitary dispenser on the Canterbury Campus, with one shortly to follow at Medway and Salomons.
We are encouraging our students and staff to normalise talking about menstruation, to challenge the stigma that surrounds periods. We live in a world where people who menstruate have to bear a financial and social burden because of their periods, and at CCSU, we want to put an end to that.