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Free Sanitary Pads at 250 Chinese Campuses

By Namira Hussain

An array of sanitary pads for women.
Image taken by Jochen Tack.

250 free sanitary pad dispensers have been set up by Chinese students to tackle the negative stigma associated with menstruation

The dispensers are known as Sanitary pad support boxes’ and came into existence due to a social media campaign that was led by Stand By her- an advocacy group.

This campaign is necessary now than ever before because traditionally periods have been viewed as something to be embarrassed about.

Furthermore, once COVID-19 begun women in China were left unable to access necessary sanitary products as it was considered an inessential item.

This then led to many protests, one, for example, was from a local non-government organisation who held a rally to allow any pad donations or other sanitary materials to be given to any frontline female health worker who may need it.

According to The Guardian, Wang Ping, a third-year student at Minzu University in the southern province of Yunnan, said that with the assistance of approximately 12 volunteers, the group was able to set up 10 boxes around the school.

“We are doing this in hopes of putting an end to period shaming and rejecting the stigma of menstruation,” she said. “We are not avoiding talking about but facing it head-on.”

An additional fact about these dispensers is that those who use the dispenser in order to gain a sanitary product are heavily encouraged to replenish the stock of dispensers at a later time. This is because they would understand the importance of requiring sanitisation immediately and therefore would wish to help other fellow students who find themselves in the same position.

Neelam Hussain, Masters criminology student at London City University said: ‘I wish my campus did this, it would help females students a lot but also change the perspective on female menstruation.”

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