SF State combats student period poverty


SFSU’s Health Promotion and Wellness unit is offering free sanitary napkins at the Village at Centennial Square. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Earlier this month, Scotland became the first country to offer free tampons to students in hopes of beginning a global movement towards fighting “period poverty.” Now, SF State’s Health Promotion and Wellness unit has been inspired to do the same.

Period poverty is a globally known issue that involves insufficient access to sanitary products for women because of financial constraints and governmental control.

“Scotland’s efforts to provide students with access to no-cost sanitary products is a wonderful public health initiative to improve women’s health,” said Karen Boyce, the program’s director. “It creates increased access to sanitary products that normalizes menstruation, a topic that is often viewed as shameful.” 

SFSU’s Health Promotion and Wellness unit has begun its own initiation to end period poverty on campus by offering no-cost sanitary pads at the programs location in the Village at Centennial Square. 

Scotland’s $6.4 million investment will provide no-cost feminine hygiene products to over 395,000 students to help them fully focus on their studies, according to Aileen Campbell, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.

The U.S. has been combatting period poverty for years, in particular trying to remove the pink tax from feminine hygiene products in 41 states, including California. Women on average spend over $1,351 every year just for being a woman.