The Move Towards Ending Period Poverty

Period poverty is affecting girls and women all over the globe. This is having an impact upon their education, health, and in some countries, their safety. The good news, however, is that the subject is being discussed and sustainable solutions such as period pants, reusable pads, and menstrual cups are being created, sold, and distributed to some experiencing period poverty.

There are approximately 3.8 billion women on the planet and around 2 billion of those women are of menstruating age.

A proportion of these girls and women will struggle to afford menstrual products. This can lead them to use makeshift pads such as socks, old t-shirts, and tissue paper.

Educating Girls on Menstrual Health
Promoting Reusable Menstrual Products in the Media
Donations for Those In Need of Period Products
Government’s Pledge to End Period Poverty
Self-sufficiency in Ending Period Poverty

Access to clean water and toilets can be difficult to obtain for school girls in countries such as Nepal and Africa. ActionAid reports that 1 in 10 girls will miss school when they have their periods.

ActionAid works with communities to improve facilities such as toilets and showers. In Rwanda, ActionAid has built 9 safe spaces in schools to offer a private place where girls can go and get information, use toilet facilities, change their clothes, and rest if they need to.

ActionAid has worked hard to ensure that they offer information on menstrual products and educate girls about periods and sex, so girls can go to school and get the skills they need to gain employment, end poverty, and take control of their own lives.

In England, period poverty is also an issue for girls of school age.

 

According to research by Plan International, 1 in 10 girls between the ages of 14 and 21 in the UK have been unable to afford menstrual products, while 49% have missed an entire day of school because of their period.

Changes are on the horizon with the UK government pledging to offer free menstrual products in secondary schools.

More campaigning needs to be done to ensure that free menstrual products are offered to primary schools and to promote reusable menstrual products whilst teaching about puberty and menstruation.

Promoting Reusable Menstrual Products in the Media

Social media is largely used to promote sustainable menstrual products and has enabled more and more girls and women to learn about the benefits of reusable options.

Social media has provided a way forward for individuals, charities, businesses, and organisations to join together to tackle period poverty. Through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, girls’ and women’s questions have been answered and taboos are being broken. This has given girls and women confidence to try reusable products such as period pants.

Donations for Those In Need of Period Products

Some charities and businesses now provide free reusable menstrual products to girls and women who are experiencing period poverty.

Providing reusable menstrual products is a better alternative to donating single-use menstrual products as they are a sustainable, economical, and an environmentally-friendly way of tackling period poverty.  

Government’s Pledge to End Period Poverty

The UK Government has pledged that it will eradicate period poverty around the world by 2030 by providing 2 million pounds for sanitary products and menstrual health education.

Self-sufficiency in Ending Period Poverty

Raleigh International provides workshops for women in Nepal to learn to sew their own reusable period pads. This can eliminate the cost women will spend on pads and the distance they travel to buy the product. It also means that women will no longer need to use other items such as rags and dried mud to manage their periods.

The film Period. End of Sentence highlighted that the women in a rural village outside of Delhi make their own reusable pads. Making their own pads goes further than ending period poverty for them and their community; it also means that the women are working and providing an income for their families. Also, whilst making the pads, taboos are being challenged as men and women are both educated on menstrual health.

In Conclusion

Period poverty is a global issue. Although there is a way to go until period poverty is ended, the good news is that it is being addressed.

Individuals, charities, and businesses are working hard to promote reusable, sustainable, economical, and environmentally-friendly menstrual products. The production and distribution of reusable menstrual products should be celebrated. It offers girls and women a way out of period poverty. When this happens, girls and women can be empowered to continue with their education and not have to rely on donations or using inappropriate and unhygienic items to manage their period.

 

All our blog post is written by Rebekah Louise, a fantastic writer who is super passionate women's health. 

 


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