Amika George is the British teenager that founded Free Periods – a campaign that strives to end period poverty in schools and that works to tackle the shame and taboo that’s bound up in menstruation. Her idea for the concept came from her realisation that many young girls choose to miss school whilst on their period either due to embarrassment or from lack of sanitary products.
Therefore, Amika launched Free Periods in April 2017 and called on the UK government to provide free menstrual products to all children who need them, as every child has a right to their education, and periods should never be a barrier to that right. After 2 years of campaigning against the injustice of period poverty, Free Period organised a protest of 2,000 people and a petition with signatures from a further 271,000 people in March 2019. Following this action, the Chancellor announced that, from early 2020, every child in England will be able to access menstrual products when they need them, as free products will be provided in all schools and colleges.
Furthermore, whilst in lockdown, Free Periods have made it their mission to ensure that children can still have the same access to sanitary products at home. Thanks to Amika and her team of campaigners, PHS has confirmed that they will continue to make deliveries of free period products under the Department for Education scheme during the lockdown.
However, the fight against period poverty does not stop there for Amika. Free Periods continues to campaign for free menstrual products in all schools around the world, so that every child, regardless of where they live, can have equal access to education, unhindered by period poverty. Amika’s initiative proves herself as a true feminist icon, as free period products in schools is just the first step towards gender equality in education.