What can we do to Help those in Period Poverty?
As soon as I found out that period poverty was a thing my next thought was how can I help those in period poverty? I feel so priviliged to be in a position where I’ve always had access to sanitary products. I’ve probably taken it for granted over the years and I never thought that other people might not. So how can we help those in period poverty?
There are several UK based and international charities which help those in period poverty for a variety of reasons.
Binti works to provide girls all over the world with sanitary products and to teach them about their monthly cycles.
The Homeless Period is an initiative that looks to give homeless women in the UK access to pads and tampons. They also started a petition, which has been debated in parliament, to get the government to allocate funds to homeless shelters to provide sanitary protection for women in the same way that they grant an allowance for buying condoms.
Plan International is a children’s charity which promotes the rights of children and girls all over the world. Part of their work is helping provide sanitary products and teaching girls about periods and removing the taboos around menstruation.
You can donate to any of the charities listed here via the links or you can donate pads and tampons to your local food bank to distribute.
I found two petitions whose aims are to get the UK government provide sanitary protection to help those in period poverty in schools. One is to provide sanitary products for all girls (anyone biologically born female) who get free school meals. The other looks to get schools to provide free sanitary products for all girls (anyone biologically born female) who attend.
Once these petitions reach 100,000 signatures they will be debated in parliament.
Talk About Periods/Menstruation
I don’t know about you but I always feel embarrassed buying sanitary pads. I’ll always buy other stuff at the same time, even if I don’t need it. As I’m writing this it sounds ridiculous.
Why should I be embarassed buying pads? Why do I feel the need to buy other bits at the same time?
Maybe it’s because they’re less noticeable in a sea of other things or maybe it’s because I don’t want the cashier to know or think I’m on my period. Either way, it’s something that every person biologically born female goes through and we shouldn’t feel ashamed about it.
I hope that being more open about periods will get rid of the stigma around them. It might also mean that those with the power to help those in period poverty will be more willing to talk about it. Talking is the only way we’ll find a solution to make pads and tampons more readily available to those who need them.
I also have posts talking about different types of sanitary products coming in the next few weeks.
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