Students decorated the Radcliffe Camera with tampon-themed bunting this week to highlight problems faced by women and girls in developing countries.
Members of the committee of the University’s Oxfam group placed the bunting around the railings on Monday as part of a “Tampon Takeover” campaign to improve provision of sanitary products in developing countries. The campaign is taking place in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8th.
The bunting was removed by Rad Cam authorities on Tuesday.
Martha Richards, one of the Campaign Officers for the University Oxfam group, said the problem “needs to be addressed”.
‘In honour of International Women’s Day this Saturday 8th March, we wanted to find a new and exciting way to highlight the issues facing girls in developing countries. Studies from research commissioned by Oxford University have shown that when girls are given puberty education and sanitary products, their absence rate at school can drop from 21% to 9%,” she said.
“Sanitary products are such a basic product, and cost very little, but are completely overlooked in weekly groceries shops as unnecessary. We’re using the RadCam, which is a symbol of the education we all enjoy, to highlight a problem that needs to be addressed,” she added.
The group is planning other activities to raise awareness for the cause, including “Pidge a Pad”
It is believed that the price of sanitary products can be artificially inflated for profit in many developing countries. A 2011 study by research organisation AC Nielsen estimated that only 12% of women in India use sanitary pads.
The group is handing out free sanitary products in Radcliffe Square on Friday from 3pm until 5pm, and between 11am and 1pm on Saturday. Students can find out more or donate to the cause at afripads.com.