Period Poverty in Schools: A legal victory

In 2017, Amika George, then a 17-year old school girl, started #FreePeriods, a grassroots movement campaigning to highlight the issue of ‘Period Poverty’ and to seek ways of combatting it, including by petitioning the Government to provide free sanitary products in all schools and colleges in the UK. 

Last year, a parallel legal campaign was launched by Free Periods and The Red Box Project, represented by the human rights team at law firm, Hausfeld & Co, instructing Cloisters’ barristers, Schona Jolly QC and Claire McCann

The legal campaign challenged the lack of free provision of sanitary products under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, arguing that girls were being disadvantaged and discriminated against in their access to compulsory education.  It was hugely successful, with the Government announcing that free period products would be made available in schools and colleges in England and the scheme was launched in January 2020. 

Yesterday it was announced that Free Periods and the Red Box Project have been shortlisted for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation’s National Campaigner Awards in the Best Use of Law 2020 category, with the winner being revealed on 30th September 2020. 

We at Cloisters congratulate all those shortlisted and applaud the extraordinary work done by all the individuals and organisations who have campaigned so tirelessly to effect social change.