World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019 - Period Poverty
Posted on 29th May 2019 at 09:30
Vast, aged 17, at her school in Malawi. Sanitary towels from ActionAid means she doesn't have to miss school when she has her period.
Credit: Samantha Reinders/ActionAid
How ActionAid and Etica are working to end period poverty
Period poverty refers to a situation when a menstruating woman or girl cannot afford to buy pads, tampons or other sanitary products to manage her period hygienically and with dignity.
Who is affected by Period Poverty?
Period Poverty affects women and girls all over the world. It not only touches the lives of the poorest in the UK, but it also affects women and girls living through conflict such as refugees in Jordan and Bangladesh and those living in in poverty in countries like Kenya, Nepal and Malawi.
In Malawi, a pack of sanitary pads can cost more than a whole day’s pay. Most women and girls need two per period, which means spending two days’ pay every month on sanitary pads alone.
Meanwhile in Kenya, a pack of eight pads costs about one US dollar, but half of the population lives on less than a dollar a day .
What are the effects of Period Poverty?
Period Poverty has several negative consequences not only for women and girls but for their communities and society at large.
Women and girls living in period poverty are often forced to use whatever they can manage to their periods including rags and newspapers. Those who can access limited sanitary towels are sometimes forced to re-use them for many days which can put them at a serious risk of infection.
Period Poverty can also force women and girls to miss work or school because they cannot afford period pads. One in 10 girls in Africa miss school because they don’t have access to sanitary products, or because there aren’t safe, private toilets to use at school.
Missing out on valuable days at school could mean a girl does not get to finish her education which can have a devastating impact on her life. In the global south, it may mean a girl is more likely to be forced into child marriage , more likely to get pregnant at a young age and is more vulnerable to violence and abuse .
Lack of education can keep girls and women in poverty and hold back their families and communities as well. It can affect their ability to contribute income to their families, affect their children’s well-being and it can make them miss out on opportunities to improve the conditions of their community.
What can you do to help?
Etica world is working with ActionAid to end period poverty. ActionAid works with communities to improve access to toilets, sanitary products and education for girls about periods and sex, so girls can go to school and get the skills they need to break out of poverty and take control of their own lives.
For every purchase Etica world is contributing 5% of profits from your purchase to ActionAid. https://www.actionaid.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/womens-economic-empowerment/period-poverty
Help us eradicate period poverty with ActionAid when you buy your next pad. Choose ActionAid when you checkout on your next purchase https://www.eticaworld.co.uk/our-products/.
Tagged as: ActionAid UK, Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019, Period Poverty, Period shaming, Taboo around periods
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