Amika George, an 18-year-old Indian-origin teen from the United Kingdom, became a recipient of the Goalkeepers Global Goals Award on 25 September, for her 2017 campaign that demanded free sanitary products for poor girls in schools, reports Hindustan Times.
Popularly referred to as the Oscars for social progress, George won a Campaign Award for her initiative which started off as an online petition and culminated into a protest on Downing Street in December 2017, the HT report said. Following this youth-led campaign, the UK government granted 1.5 million pounds to end 'period poverty' — the factor that has prevented many girls from low-income households from attending school while on their period.
"One in 10 girls in the UK can’t afford sanitary napkins, shows a study by Plan International... Girls were using newspapers, socks," she said, as quoted by HT. It was only after she saw a news report about how girls missed school because they could not buy sanitary pads that she decided to start her campaign. Nearly 2000 protesters, including Amika's own grandfather, took to Downing Street to support the #FreePeriods initiative. George has also spoken about how menstruation is a taboo subject in every country, and that women are 'punished' for bleeding. While she has lived in the UK all her life, her grandparents moved here from Kerala.
Goalkeepers was started by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017 to track the progress of the United Nation’s Sustainable Developmental Goals programme. It honours individuals in three categories. In 2018, the Changemaker Award was given to Nadia Murud, the UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, while the Progress Award was bagged by Dysmus Kisilu.
Updated Date: Sep 28, 2018 12:02:57 IST