UEA students’ union offer free sanitary products to students
- Credit: Archant
Students in Norwich will now be able to access free sanitary products, after UEA's Student Union vowed to remove barriers from women getting hold of the items they need.
The announcement - made to coincide with International Women's Day yesterday - follows a 2014 decision where the students' union became the first in the country to remove VAT on sanitary products in its shop, in a protest against the 'tampon tax'.
Now, tampons and sanitary pads have been made available to pick up - for free - in the gender-neutral toilets in the union house building.
The students' union's welfare, community and diversity officer, Jo Swo, said: 'Sanitary products are not a luxury, they are a necessity that UEASU believes every student should have free access to without questioning their financial background or shame.
'We began by selling pads and tampons for tax-free but now we've gone one step further, we believe all students should be able to have the same access to sanitary products and we need to get rid of the stigma that periods are dirty and something you need to spend a fortune on pretending doesn't happen.'
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The new policy, passed by student representative's at the university's union council, follows in the footsteps of Kings College London, Kent and Leeds.
At present, 5pc VAT is added to sanitary products which has been criticised for making profit from an essential item.
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After an online petition 'Stop taxing periods, period' gained over 300,000 signatures in 2016, David Cameron announced legislation to stamp out the tax by April 2018.