What do we mean by period poverty?
Period poverty is defined as a lack of access to menstrual products and adequate sanitation facilities-a condition where individuals struggle to afford the necessary items to manage their period in a safe and hygienic manner. Around 5 million people globally lack access to period products such as pads and tampons and adequate wash facilities to manage their periods with dignity.
In much of the Western world access to clean water and sanitary products may be considered a given, however, for many millions around the world – this is not a reality.
Period poverty can have severe consequences on the lives of those affected. It can lead to unhygienic and unsafe practices, including using unclean alternatives to pads or tampons such as clothing, rags, newspaper, or even leaves, which can all increase the risk of infection and other health issues. It can also result in social isolation, embarrassment, and can have a negative impact on education, work and overall quality of life and wellbeing.
Globally those who menstruate have been stigmatised, excluded, discriminated against, and prevented from getting an education, earning and generally unable to fully participate in everyday life and activities.
This is why it needs to change.