As part of our communication activism and social change unit, we were asked to evaluate a campaign on change.org.
I decided to look at ‘Stop taxing periods. Period’ campaign as it seemed interesting and has over 200,000 supporters. The central idea behind the campaign was that essential items should not be taxed. Sanitary towels are essential to a women’s life as without them women would not be able to control and manage menstruation and it will lead to women jeopardising their health. Taxing essential items can reduce accessibility and lead to fewer people affording them, thus reducing access to health care and vital items that will be necessities for decades.
The campaign used various digital forms of communication and raising awareness in the form of a Facebook Page and a Twitter hashtag. The hashtag created was #endtampontax and the Facebook page is named ‘Stop taxing our periods. Period’ was created to spread the message and provide the latest news and events on the Tampon tax.
The campaign has received huge amounts media attention from news outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian, ITV news and The independent. The campaign also featured in a glamour magazine and The Cosmopolitan. The petition has also received over 200,000 supporters and has gone to parliament and received a treasury response which shows that the raising awareness part of the campaign has been successful. The creators of the campaign decided to demo outside downing street to show how passionate they were about their campaign. They created a Facebook event and 80 women joined. Because of the petitions, hashtags and media coverage, the treasury responded to the petition and stated that it was not possible to change as it had never been done before. That aspect of the campaign failed as they wanted to make a change and have not done so yet. However, if you were to measure the success on a campaign based on raising awareness then you could argue that they have been successful, as many have got involved using the hashtag mentioned above and with 3,472 likes you could argue that it has raised awareness and that was the main aim to begin with.
The only criticism I have of the campaign is that there is no Youtube video to accompany the campaign. I am not saying every campaign should have a video but it would be nice for people to see the side effects of taxing sanitary towels rather than merely reading about it.
For those interested, the link is provided below: