Period Poverty: What is it and what can we do?

period poverty

In a nutshell, ‘Period poverty’ refers to having a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Something that many of us are lucky enough to probably take for granted.

Charities such as Freedom4Girls have been doing amazing work in countries such as Kenya where this is a known issue, especially for young girls who end up missing large amounts of their education because of it.

However, this isn’t just an issue in countries as far away as Kenya. This is happening on our doorstep and is having a serious affect on the education, health and general quality of life for thousands of women and especially teenage girls in the UK.

What causes ‘Period Poverty’?

Recent studies have shown that one third of the UK population have experienced poverty in recent years, with women being one of the most vulnerable groups.

Access to food and adequate housing are often what springs to mind when we think about poverty but ‘period poverty’ is an inevitable aspect for many women in the UK.

Imagine being a young teenage girl feeling too guilty to ask your parents for sanitary items when you see it’s already a struggle buying the food that the family needs. Add to that the fact that menstruation is still a taboo subject for many people, making it even more difficult to ask for help when it is needed.

But it doesn’t have to be this way...

What can we do about it?

  1. Sign the petition and spread the word

The #PeriodPotential campaign is prompting Education Secretary Justine Greening (a woman with the influence to make big changes here) to introduce access to free sanitary products in all schools.
This would mean girls can spend time focusing on their education rather than worrying about how to deal with being on their period. How it should be.

The petition already has over 50k signatures, go team! Sign it here.

Use the #PeriodPotential hashtag and join the debate on social media to keep the discussion going. 

  1. Talk to friends and peers

It’s time to ditch the taboo and get talking.
By keeping menstruation an “on the table” subject it helps other women feel more comfortable to ask for help, get access information and explore their options.

When was the last time you had a frank discussion with your friends about your periods? You’d be surprised how many “Me too!” moments can be had, as well as “I wanted to ask someone about this for a long time...”

  1. Support charities and organisations

Trussel Trust, The Homeless Period and Bodyform are just 3 examples of organisations fighting to eliminate this issue in the UK. Period.

Local food banks and homeless shelters are also great places to reach out to and give donations directly. After all, those in need are closer to home than we often think.


Do you agree this is an issue worth shouting about?

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