Period poverty is defined as the “lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management.” Oftentimes period poverty is only thought of existing in underdeveloped countries. We just think those living in countries far away only suffer from period poverty.
However, 64% of women in the United States were unable to afford menstrual hygiene products in this past year.
Why do we not recognize that people around us don’t have access to menstrual hygiene products? We should ask ourselves what is getting in the way of us seeing the period poverty that is so prevalent in our local communities.
A big part of the problem is that period poverty in the United States is not talked about. It has been deemed an“awkward” topic to discuss. Very few news outlets let out the truth about period poverty because it is uncomfortable to bring up.
So, what are we going to do about period poverty?
One thing you can do to help end period poverty is donate feminine hygiene kits to a school district near you. A feminine hygiene kit can include pads, tampons, deodorant, a razor, Q-tips, hand sanitizer, hair elastics, pain medication (Advil or Tylenol), and chocolate. Not all these items are needed to make a feminine hygiene kit. Click here to watch a feminine hygiene kit tutorial video.
Another way to help put an end to period poverty is to spread awareness of it. Not many people realize how widespread period poverty is in the United States. Talk about period poverty with your friends, share it on social media, and look for ways to start a conversation about solutions to it. Ending the stigma about periods will certainly help raise awareness about period poverty.
Finally, you can advocate for legislation that ends taxes on feminine hygiene products or laws that allow feminine hygiene products to be distributed at schools for free.
If we work together, we can put an end to period poverty!
Written By Sabrina B
featured photo from medium.com