What is period poverty?
Period poverty is the inability to afford menstrual products, or having limited access to them. For many people who menstruate, this can be a monthly reality. According to a study by Always in 2017, 1 in 10 girls in the United States have missed school because they don’t have access to period products.
Why do period products cost so much?
There are a few reasons why period products can be expensive. First, there’s the “tampon tax,” which is a sales tax that is applied to menstrual products in some countries. Second, period products are considered a “luxury” item by many governments, which means they are subject to higher taxes. Finally, the production of period products can be costly, and the companies that make them often pass these costs onto consumers.
How does period poverty affect people?
Period poverty can affect people in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most common:
- Missed school or work: Without access to period products, people who menstruate may miss school or work. This can lead to lower grades or loss of income.
- Poor hygiene: Not being able to afford period products can lead to poor hygiene habits. This can cause health problems like urinary tract infections and reproductive tract infections.
- Depression and anxiety: The stress of dealing with period poverty can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
- Social isolation: People who menstruate may avoid social activities out of fear of leaking or being embarrassed about their hygiene. This can lead to social isolation and loneliness.
What can be done to help people affected by period poverty?
There are a few things that can be done to help people affected by period poverty:
- Donate period products: One way to help is to donate period products to local food banks, shelters, or other organizations that serve people in need.
- Advocate for change: Another way to help is to advocate for change. This could mean lobbying for the repeal of the tampon tax, or working to make period products more affordable.
- Educate others: Helping to educate others about period poverty and its effects can also make a difference. This can be done by talking about the issue with friends and family, or by sharing information online.
How could I research more about period poverty?
If you want to learn more about period poverty, there are a few ways to get started:
- Read about it: There are a number of articles and blog posts about period poverty. Try doing a search online, or checking out the resources section below.
- Watch a documentary: A great way to learn about an issue is to watch a documentary about it. The film “Period. End of Sentence.” is available for free on YouTube, and explores the issue of period poverty in India.
- Talk to someone who’s affected by it: One of the best ways to understand an issue is to talk to someone who’s directly affected by it. If you know someone who’s struggling to afford menstrual products, ask them about their experiences.
Now that you know a bit more about period poverty, you can start to make a difference in the lives of those affected by it.