We are only halfway into the year but there have already been a lot of changes; the Instagram logo turned pink (I still hate it), everyone thinks Taylor Swift is a sssnake, Britain made the decision to leave the EU and we got a new female Prime Minister.
However, for us personally, July 1st marked a very important point in the ABGC calendar as it meant that we had been campaigning for an entire year! We started our project in response to a couple of BIG campaigns that were circulating throughout 2015, with the hope that we could 1) contribute in a practical way and 2) add to the discussion.
So how are things looking a year on?
The Homeless Period
This campaign was the one that had initially inspired us to start ABGC. As you will all be aware by now, the Government do not currently provide funding for sanitary products in homeless shelters, but they do provide funding for condoms and razors for men.
The Homeless Period started a petition to create discussion around this and campaigned for the imbalance to be redressed. Their petition well exceeded the 100,000 signatures required for the issue to be debated in Parliament, but to date there has sadly been no progress.
The Homeless Period require the backing of an MP to take their petition to Parliament for debate. While our local MP wasn’t keen, I would definitely encourage everyone reading to contact their MP and see whether this issue can be given the time it deserves by those in power.
During our four projects with ABGC, we have seen first-hand how much difference a donation of sanitary products can make. Certain shelters receive no funding from the Government or Local Authorities, while others face cutbacks year on year. Without backing, these organisations will continue to require donations from the public which, in reality, are neither regular nor ideal.
The Tampon Tax
As I wrote in October last year, the tax on sanitary products means that tampons and sanitary towels are treated as ‘luxury items’ by the Government. This tax is not applied to exotic animal meats, men’s razors or Jaffa Cakes.
We have written a fair amount about the tampon tax over the past year and back in March, it was announced that the petition had finally been successful at 320,088 signatures. As you can imagine, feminists up and down the land were rejoicing and thinking about all of the money they were going to save the next time their knickers gave way to Communism.
Initially, the main reason the Government was “unable” to scrap this tax came down to their hands being “tied” by the EU. Please note my subtle scepticism. MIRACULOUSLY after a petition, mass outrage and a bit of free-bleeding, the Government was able to untie their hands and came to a deal with EU leaders to remove the tax for good. However since March, no further action seems to have been taken by the Government.
Now that we are waving goodbye to the EU and promises have been made, there seems very little reason why this tax is still hanging about. If you’re a Twitter user, send this tweet over to our new PM right now, “@theresa_may @PHammondMP please make 2016 the year that tampon tax ends. Period! #EndTamponTax”.
It’ll take 0.5 seconds of your time and may be the final push this campaign needs to end this archaic tax for good. Bish bash bosh – I’ve just done it myself!
Unfortunately the update from our first year in business hasn’t been 100% positive, but let’s hope that by 1st July 2017 we have some better news for you all. If you’re wondering how you can help, just keep tweeting, discussing and making as much noise as possible about these issues! Who knows, with a female PM we may make progress a little more quickly than before.
Thanks for reading,