DSU admits female students aren’t aware about free sanitary product scheme.

By Tabby Neal and Millie Spooner

Thousands of De Montfort university male freshers received free razor blades in the post before enrolment in September as part of a welcome pack to their studies.

Despite the tampon tax being in the headlines female students were not sent out free sanitary products in their welcome packs.

Mollie Footitt, the Deputy President of Education, confessed about the university’s lack of promotion about the free pads that are given out at the DSU, “we can promote that again, we did about it last year. Jessica, the Welfare and Community officer, did a big campaign about it and we can definitely bring that back…”


The free sanitary towels are available at the reception of the DSU and are available for people to pick up.

Period poverty is a prevalent issue amongst poor young women in the UK, as they are often forced to miss school and work due to not being able to afford sanitary products.


The European Commission are working towards completely wiping the tax on pads and tampons, aiming for a zero rate in 2018. Progress is currently being made as the UK government have now legalised to allow the rules to change.

However, currently sanitary products will continue to be charged for VAT alongside solar panels, child car seats and nicotine patches.

Mollie also disclosed that the DSU were “unaware as to why” Gillette razors were exclusively sent out to male students and why sending products to female students was discontinued.

The financial struggle for female students was also discussed, as on average a female will spend £1,472 on sanitary products during their lifetime, estimated by the BBC. “Having to budget (as a student) sanitary items in my weekly shop was not ideal… they are expensive”.



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