Featured Image Credit: Freda
Period poverty = the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints.
Period stigma, the high cost of period products and a lack of education has led to a toxic trio of ‘period poverty’, according to leading sexual health and well-being charity Brook.
Period poverty affects over one-quarter of women in the UK, however, despite there being over 800 million women worldwide who have a period, they are still considered a taboo and embarrassing subject which we shouldn’t talk about. It’s time to talk about periods.
What to do if you are experiencing period poverty
If you are a student at Bangor University you can order free period products which will be delivered to your door here. A range of products are available including disposable tampons and pads, as well as reusable period underwear and menstrual cups. There are enough products in each bundle to last 3 months.
Furthermore, Save the Student! have compiled a list of the most affordable sanitary products available in shops and online, take a look here. I personally prefer to use reusable sanitary products from brands such as Nuflo and DAME as they’re better for the environment and mean you always have a product available if your period starts unexpectedly or you haven’t had the chance to buy any tampons/pads. Not only that, but reusable products such as the menstrual cup can work out far cheaper than buying disposable products, because they can last years if cleaned regularly and looked after.
Things you can do to help tackle period poverty
Educate yourself and share information
Set some time aside to research more about period poverty, and don’t keep this information to yourself either – tell your friends, family and colleagues at work about the issue of period poverty and where they can donate money or products if they wish to. The UNDEB Bangor and Bloody Good Period websites have lots of accurate, useful information.
UNDEB Bangor are campaigning this year to break the stigma around periods and support students who are affected by period poverty. Take a look at UNDEB’s Facebook and Instagram page for period related information and facts being shared to raise awareness and end the stigma. As well as this, UNDEB Bangor are hosting free events such as a Menstrual Cycle Session, Myth Buster sessions and bilingual Q&A’s which I highly recommend you get involved in!
Donate money or period products
There are various charities based both in the UK and internationally which work towards preventing period poverty:
- GirlStuff provides menstrual products and underwear to young girls in South Africa, and also employs women there to work full-time producing reusable pads and underwear.
- Bloody Good Period supply period products to refugees and asylum seekers across the UK. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloody Good Period have also supplied products to food banks, community groups and NHS front-line staff.
- Period Poverty provides sanitary products to women in refugee camps, homeless women, female students, and low income households.
Purchase period products from brands who support ending period poverty
Brands such as HeyGirls, always and Flo donate products to those affected by period poverty, so every time you spend with them, you are also supporting other girls who aren’t able to afford period products.