Period poverty explained — how you can help

Photo by Vanessa Ramirez on Pexels

What are the impacts of period poverty?

Cultural

Missing school

Unhygienic alternatives

Period poverty during the pandemic

Writing on the Plan International UK website, its chief executive Rose Caldwell says: “Periods don’t stop for a pandemic, and whether we’re talking about girls in the UK, Rwanda, Australia or Nepal, the coronavirus crisis is making it harder for girls and young women to manage their periods safely and with dignity. “Many of the issues we’re seeing existed before the pandemic, but the virus is making the situation worse. We already know that the coronavirus outbreak is having a devastating impact on family finances all over the world, but now we see that girls and women are also facing widespread shortages and price hikes on period products, with the result that many are being forced to make do with whatever they can find to manage their period. This can pose a real threat to their health and may increase the risk of infection. “On top of this, our experts on the frontline tell us that the stigma and shame girls face around their periods is also on the rise. Lack of access to clean water, lack of toilets with doors, and difficulties disposing of used products are just some of the challenges they face when trying to manage their periods in a private, safe and dignified manner. “Period stigma is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality and can have a serious impact on girls’ life chances. It’s therefore critical that governments and health agencies prioritise menstrual hygiene management in their response to the coronavirus crisis and treat sanitary products as essential items during the pandemic and beyond.”

How you can help to end period poverty

End the stigma around periods

Support organisations fighting period poverty

Get involved in your local community

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