Community & Government

Taking Action

Malala Yousafzai

Lesson time 10:49 min

Building up to the third stage of Malala’s advocacy cycle, meet Amika George as she and Malala talk about the #FreePeriods campaign that Amika led successfully. Learn how to get your mission moving through petitions, protests, and legislation.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Start With Adaptable Strategies · How to Reframe the Issue · Campaign Tactics


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Now, I will talk to Amika George, who led the period poverty campaign and convinced the UK government to provide free sanitary products in school. AMIKA GEORGE: So proud to be a woman. And it's amazing seeing how many of you have shown up for this really important issue. - Hello, Amika. - Hi. So good to be here. - Amika, can you tell me a bit about what do you do and how it all started? - So about four years ago, I read an article about period poverty in the UK. And period poverty is when students are unable to go to school during their period, because of lack of access to pads or tampons or the products they need. And I was really horrified that it was happening right here on our doorstep. The article detailed really awful stories of students kind of using makeshift alternatives, things like toilet paper, newspaper, socks, t-shirts, whatever they could find, just to be able to get an education. And I was really horrified by the fact that it didn't seem like anybody was kind of advocating for a sustainable solution. I thought that every single child in the UK should have free and available access to period products. And therefore, it was the primary goal of free periods to persuade and lobby the government to provide free products in all schools. - So when you came across this issue, you were motivated. You were frustrated with what was happening. So how did you decide that you wanted to do a campaign? And how did you set your goals for that? - So when I first started, I became really passionate about trying to end period poverty and get free periods moving. The first step was doing research and realizing just the extent of this issue, but also the extent of silence around the issue. So I talked to the people in my life, my close friends and my family, people at my school about how they felt about the issue and what they thought had to be done to change the reality of period poverty. So that's when I realized that a lot of the research was needed. I looked into it online and read articles that had been published recently about girls missing school. But I think what struck me the most was just the lack of education. And it felt like this very silent issue, obviously revolving around something that's already so tabooed. And that's what really motivated me, was that lack of awareness in open period conversation generally. I also became in contact with a lot of the students who had been suffering from period poverty, who reached out to me and told their stories. And I thought that was a really important and very moving part of the journey for me. - So were you aware and clear about what actions you were going to take? Or was it a journey for you that you were learning from each and every step that you were taking? I would love to know more about how that process worked for you. - I think, looking back, I probably should have been a bit more prepared...

About the Instructor

When she first took a stand, Malala simply acted on her belief that all Pakistani girls like her had a right to education. Now the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history teaches you how to fight injustice in the world and in your everyday life, starting with your own community. Learn Malala’s framework for influencing change: Research issues, build a strategy, take action, and create an impact right where you are.

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Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Prize–winning activist Malala teaches you how to be an activist in your own community, from research and strategy to action and impact.

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