Period poverty is a huge problem with a complex set of causes. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common ones and discuss how they can be addressed.
Poverty is a problem in many parts of the world. In many countries, menstruation can be an obstacle to education because families may not have access to sanitary products or know how to keep girls safe during their period. For example, in some countries, it’s common for girls and women to use unhygienic materials like rags and pieces of cloth instead of sanitary pads. This leads to infections that can cause pain while they’re on their period.
The lack of access to menstrual products also means that girls miss school because they don’t have any way to deal with their periods discreetly at school (or anywhere else). This can lead them down a path toward dropping out altogether and puts them at risk for child marriage or early pregnancy.
Lack of Education or Awareness
There is a strong link between lack of education and being unable to afford menstrual products. If you don’t know what a period is or how to talk about it without embarrassment or shame, then it’s easy to think that you’re the only person who has ever had one. You might also think that your period is something that just happens to you and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, so why bother asking for help?
Stigma Around Menstruation
Period stigma is a form of social stigma that surrounds menstruation and people who have periods. It’s the idea that menstruating women are dirty, weak, or somehow less than others. This belief goes back centuries — in medieval Europe, for example, menstruating women were thought to be witches or “unclean” and were forced to live apart from society during their periods (and sometimes died as a result).
Lack of Education About Reproductive Health
Because period-shaming is so pervasive in our society, many young people don’t learn about reproductive health until they become sexually active — which often means they’re already experiencing some kind of trouble with their bodies. In order for us to truly understand how the lack of affordable menstrual products contributes to period poverty, we need to recognize how little we talk about menstruation itself — whether it’s during sex ed classes or family dinners around the dinner table!
Lack of Access to Menstrual Products
There are women all over the world who, simply because they menstruate, have a harder time accessing basic necessities like food and water. But in some places, that’s not the only thing they can’t access—even when it comes to something as simple as reusable menstrual products.
In many parts of Africa and Asia where people live in poverty and/or don’t have access to hygiene products or running water, sanitary pads are an impossibility for many women and this has led them to improvise by using things like newspapers instead. A study conducted by UNICEF found that 26% of girls in Uganda (a country with one of the highest rates of period poverty) often missed school during their periods due to lack of proper sanitary protection; meanwhile nearly half reported feeling ashamed or embarrassed about having their period at all. And it’s not just girls who suffer from this problem: “Menstruation is a taboo subject for boys too,” said one South African boy interviewed for The Guardian’s story on period poverty (the same article notes that “[p]oor boys are also more likely than rich ones”).
Period Poverty is a Huge Problem
Non Profit Organizations in Brampton is a huge problem, with a large number of causes. In Canada alone, 3% of women have no access to menstrual products and the City of Brampton estimates that 74% of its residents live below the poverty line. Period poverty disproportionately affects girls and women who are homeless or in need of shelter, trans people, seniors and people with disabilities.
Periods are absolutely a normal part of life—but they’re also one that many Canadians struggle to afford on a daily basis. And this issue isn’t just limited to Canada; periods can be hard for anyone who has them (i.e., everyone).
While the causes of period poverty are complex, they are not insurmountable. Awareness is key to combating the problem and providing support for women who can’t afford basic menstrual products. In addition, we need more research into how menstrual hygiene affects education, employment rates and other factors in women’s lives. If we can address these issues, then hopefully one day there will be no more period poverty.