From Period Poverty to Period Dignity.

1 in 10 young people in the UK cannot afford Period Products.

Period Dignity is about

  • Respect — removing the stigma and shame around periods.

  • Education — helping people understand that periods are normal and healthy.

  • Equality — making sure everyone has what they need to manage their periods and no  one faces period poverty.

What is Period Poverty?

Period poverty is when a person cannot access safe period products and/or appropriate facilities to manage their periods. This is an issue for people across the world and within the UK. There are many factors that contribute towards period poverty, including financial constraints, social and cultural stigma, and limited education. Shockingly, 1 in 10 young people in the UK are affected by period poverty, however during the pandemic this increased to 3 in 10 (Plan International, 2020).

Who is affected?

Period poverty is an issue that affects people from all types of backgrounds and has the potential to affect anyone. Period poverty can affect people struggling with homelessness, asylum seekers, disadvantaged families experiencing food insecurity, workers without access to toilets, students struggling to afford period products and those who identify as transgender and non-binary, who cannot access toilets and safe products.

What is the impact?

Period poverty has a devastating impact and can force people to resort to using unsafe alternatives in order to manage their periods, such as rags or toilet paper. This is particularly concerning as this can cause infection that may turn into Toxic hock Syndrome, which is potentially fatal if left untreated.

Not only does period poverty negatively affect people’s physical wellbeing, it can also impact their mental health, with research finding that the anxiety of experiencing period poverty each month is linked to symptoms of depression. Additionally, it can prevent people from leaving their homes whilst on their period, which in turn potentially restricts their access to educational and occupational opportunities.

How can you help?

  • Start a free period product scheme in your place of education or workplace through Grace & Green’s Period Dignity initiative.
  • Encourage your teachers or employers to facilitate positive discussions around periods.
  • Donate period products to your local food bank and period poverty charity.
  • Period Poverty: Gift Wellness Foundation: Donates sanitary pads to refugees, homeless women, female students and women in low income jobs.
  • Freedom4Girls: Donating period products to those in need, based in Leeds and also does work in East Africa.
  • Bloody Good Period: Providing period pads and menstrual products to refugees, asylum seekers and those in poverty.
  • ActionAid: Helps tackle period poverty all around the world.
  • Plan International: Helping to tackle period poverty globally and improve young people’s access to education.
  • The Trussell Trust: One of the largest Food Bank charities in the UK providing food and hygiene products for people in poverty.

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