Last week, I wrote about the fact that girls are being forced to miss school because they don't have access to sanitary products or can't afford them. The charity Freedom4Girls announced this after they revealed that they had been handing out sanitary products to girls in schools in Leeds.
On the back of this, Bodyform has pledged to donate 200,000 free products to women and girls who are unable to access or purchase products for themselves or their families by 2020. The products will be distributed to various charities who support women and girls affected by issues such as homelessness, poverty, disability, illness and domestic violence.
The founders of The Homeless Period (a project helping to raise awareness of issues faced by homeless women when it comes to menstruation) said: "The new pledge could make a huge difference to homeless women in the UK. It means fewer women will have to go without sanitary products during that dreaded time of the month. Knowing that they can rely on a local shelter to provide these essential products means that they will have just one less thing to worry about in an already difficult situation."
The Amber Foundation, based in Wiltshire is a charity that gives homeless, unemployed young people a fresh start, will also be receiving some of Bodyform's donation. Their centre manager Barbara Bewley said:
"Many of the young women we work with come from very tough backgrounds and being able to provide them with feminine hygiene products means that this is one less thing for them to worry about. Amber's Centres are a young person's home and so having access to all the home comforts that we take for granted is essential in terms of helping them to focus on achieving their goals and aspirations."
The marketing director for Bodyform, Nicola Coronado has asked other manufacturers to step up and look at how they can support further and added: "alongside campaigns such as The Homeless Period we can overcome the taboo of talking about menstruations while ensuring sanitary products are reaching those most in need."
The reaction to the announcement last week that girls are having to miss school because of something so simple, was massive. Bleeding once a month is something that us women cannot control and the fact that our eduction is suffering as a result? That's SO wrong. So big thanks to Bodyform for their great donation and I hope that other companies will follow suit very soon.