Free Sanitary Products at the University of St Andrews

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The University of St Andrews is currently working on plans to install venders for free sanitary products in 9 Halls of Residence, the Students Union and the Main Library. 

These locations have been identified as areas with the highest student footfall and therefore of highest priority for the provision of free sanitary products.

As periods are something that happen naturally, it seems unfair to charge women for products to manage them, and even more unfair to tax them 5% VAT for the ‘luxury’ of having them. 

By providing free sanitary products in all university buildings, the University of St Andrews would be demonstrating enormous action in support of women and recognition of the misogyny that is making women pay for their own bodies. In the same way that toilet roll is provided free of charge for students to accommodate their natural bodily functions, a supply of free sanitary products in the toilets of all university buildings would reap massive benefits, from self-esteem to financial concerns. 

It is estimated that over their lifetime, women in the UK spend £18,000 on sanitary products or approximately £13 a month. As students often face a limited budget, this is a large expense, one that male students are removed from, and the stigma surrounding periods can prevent women struggling to afford sanitary products from getting the help they need. 

In the UK, 40% of 1000 women surveyed said that in at least one instance they have had to use toilet roll because they could not afford sanitary products.

If you believe in supporting women and ending the culture of making them pay for their bodies, please sign and share this petition ❤️