Lawyers from Hausfeld, Free Periods and the Red Box Project teamed up behind the long committed campaigner Amika George to launch the campaign with CrowdJustice to eliminate Period Poverty in January 2019. In April 2019, the Government confirmed funding for free sanitary products for all English schools and colleges from early 2020. Justice was obtained on behalf of all school children in England.
Hausfeld examined the legal issues and explored avenues to hold Government to account and to ensure it complies with its obligations. Our lawyers built an Equality Act case, i.e. inequity in access to education, with 1 in 7 children in London not fully participating in education because of the hidden barrier of being unable to afford sanitary products.
Ingrid Gubbay, Head of the HR & Environment practice at Hausfeld London, said: “This was very much a collaborative project. Amika George, the Founder of Free Periods, started her social media campaign in 2017, when she discovered girls were not attending school due to the hidden embarrassment of not being able to afford sanitary products. The Red Box Project campaigns and provides red boxes - now totalling some 3,600 - with free period products to local schools. With the right to education a fundamental human right, Hausfeld explored legal avenues to hold Government to account and to ensure it complied with its legal obligations. By coordinating our efforts, we became a stronger force.”
Wessen Jazrawi, Partner, adds: “Social media enabled Amika George to create awareness around Period Poverty which was picked up by major news outlets. We then converted ‘awareness’ into the real possibility of legal action. The fact that we were all lawyers, except for Amika, facilitated understanding across three, essentially, different organisations. It also shows that the whole is more than the sum of its parts: by combining the efforts of two campaigning organisations and adding the weight of Hausfeld’s legal expertise, the upshot was much more powerful and effective.”
In July 2019, The Law Society shortlisted the ‘Hausfeld, Free Periods and Red Box Project’ in the ‘Excellence in Access to Justice’ category for their Legal Excellence Awards. The winner will be announced on 23 October in London.