Access to sanitary products at Middlesex University
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Middlesex University prides itself on its diversity and its commitment to the community of the campus, and is driven to become one of the leading universities in the sector. However, Middlesex University currently provides no access to sanitary products in either its staff or student toilets. This petition is therefore designed to effect change - calling on all toilets (staff and student facing, with and without urinals) to have sanitary products available to staff and students.
Menstruation is a fact of life for at least half of the university's staff and student body. Over £200m has been invested in improvements to the London campus, and yet it still remains the case that for those who menstruate there is no simple, accessible and cost-effective access to what is a biological fact of many people's lives. Indeed, Human Rights Watch has cited access to menstrual sanitary products as a fundamental human right. Menstruation (and the lack of access to sanitary products) is directly related to the following human rights issues: human dignity; education; health; work; gender equality; a healthy environment; and, finally, sanitation.
Moreover, as the gap between the rich and poor widens, menstrual poverty is becoming an increasingly serious issue, with evidence mounting that girls and women who cannot access sanitary items are falling behind their peers in education and work. A YouGov study has found that "more than 3.5 million girls and women in the UK had missed school or work because of their period, yet only 27 per cent were honest about the cause of absence, with the majority (65 per cent) reluctant to state that menstruation was the reason" (https://www.heygirls.co.uk/facts-figures/ Access to affordable - or free - sanitary products would help to combat this issue.
Building on this, access to sanitary items for trans men is of equal importance. Periods have often been seen from a binary perspective, and yet it is possible for men to menstruate. Trans discrimination or erasure is an increasingly recognised issue in modern society, with transgender people often suffering dysphoria as a result of menstruation. While access to sanitary products may not resolve this issue, it is important to recognise the diversity and lived experiences of all staff and students on campus. Thus, we feel it is of equal importance that sanitary products be made accessible in both toilets with and without urinals (see http://www.period.media/factsfigures/only-women-bleed/
We would like to invite you to sign this petition and be part of the positive changes occurring at Middlesex University!
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