Combating Period Poverty: School of Social Sciences Pilot
Unit(s) of assessment: Social Work and Social Policy
School: School of Social Sciences
Why is the research necessary?
Period poverty affects women, girls and people who menstruate all over the world. Access to menstrual hygiene products as well as the stigma around periods continues to be a pressing issue that has negative impact on people’s lives. The most recent statistics show that the situation in the UK is worsening amid the cost of living crisis.
According to Plan International UK (2022), ‘over one in four (28%) girls [aged 14-21] struggle to afford period products, and nearly 1 in 5 (19%) report being unable to afford period products at all since the start of 2022.’ This leads to falling behind on educational days and mental health issues.
Plan International UK, ‘Dramatic increase in girls cutting back on essentials to afford period products amidst cost-of-living crisis’, 25 May 2022, available online at:
Addressing the Challenge
School of Social Sciences will run a pilot in 2022/2023. A range of menstrual products (tampons, pads, menstrual cups) will be available free of charge in all women’s and disabled toilets in the Chaucer building. Products will be clearly labeled as ‘please help yourself’ and will be regularly topped up.
We will run a short online survey in January and again in May. The survey will focus on the following: 1. How many students have used the products offered; 2. What impact this had on their studies; 3. How important do they think such an initiative is. The report will be presented to the School Executive Team in summer 2023.
This project is affiliated to the following groups:
International Security and Sustainability
(In)security as experienced by individuals, societies, states and others is changing. Individual, local, national and international policies taken to promote security, therefore, also need to change. With this in mind, our group investigates innovative and sustainable security policies to inform decision-makers.
Gender Research Group
The Gender Research Group’s aim is to promote social and democratic inclusion and transformation at global, national and local levels through critical examination of the myriad ways gender matters in shaping people’s identities, experiences and opportunities.
This project is run by Dr Katerina Krulisova together with student volunteers from the Social and Political Sciences department: Jessica Atalor, Hannah Brown, Faith Low and Silvia Filipe Ribeiro.
Making a Difference
Why we believe it
Although there does not appear to be any specific research on university students, it is safe to assume that some NTU students and staff might struggle to afford menstrual hygiene products. We hope that by providing it for free, we can help our students and staff community.