Health and Medical

What is Period Poverty and How Can We End It?

Every day around 800 million women and girls menstruate. With adequate period products, a safe and hygenic space, and confidence and dignity, menstruation should be a normal and stress-free process for these women and girls.

However, this is not the reality for many of them around the world. Period poverty is a pervasive and serious global issue. It affects the physical and emotional well-being of vulnerable people.

Find out everything you need to know about period poverty and how to end it.

The Basics of Period Poverty

So, what is period poverty exactly? Billions of women around the world menstruate, most on a monthly basis, and some for up to 10 days each cycle. During menstruation, it’s important to have access to menstruation products, such as tampons and pads. It’s also important to have hygenic spaces where it’s safe to use them.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of girls and women who simply don’t have access. This is not only a dark reality in developing countries but is a social issue in the western world too.

Period poverty impacts education, forcing many girls to remain at home and skip school when menstruating. It also puts their health at risk and is emotionally damaging.

What Causes Period Poverty?

Period poverty is a symptom of expensive menstrual products and a negative social stigma surrounding menstruation. Many women and girls around the world cannot afford the products that are available. This causes them to switch to cheaper solutions or to improvise with other household products. For low-income families, menstrual products are an impossible monthly cost.

What’s more, for many young girls especially, there is embarrassment surrounding their periods. The social stigma discourages open conversation. Many girls are shy about buying period products or discussing their menstruation with family.

Period Poverty Solutions

Ending period poverty requires multiple solutions targeting different aspects of society. It is both a social and economic issue and is a complex problem.

The first step is introducing proper education. Menstruation needs to become a common, spoken-about subject that both boys and girls are exposed to at school and at home. This is important for removing the negative social stigma and shame that surrounds periods.

On a grassroots level, those who have the means can choose to donate reusable period products such as menstrual cups and period pants. These are a fantastic way to provide a once-off, long-term solution.

Educating women and girls about period pants and menstrual cup benefits and encouraging a move away from non-reusable products can help to end period poverty for individuals.

It is up to the governments around the world to educate people, provide subsidized period products and encourage period positivity.

However, we can all make a stand by choosing to buy period products from brands that give back. You can encourage period positivity, and donate menstrual products and hygiene kits.

Help Turn Period Poverty into Period Positivity

Period poverty is an unfortunate rife problem throughout the world. It needs to be addressed so that millions of women and girls can improve their quality of life. Now that you know what period poverty is, you can work to help end it in your own small ways.

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