I usually publish a post per week, but a news item about period poverty yesterday prompted me to write an extra post this week.
Last night (which at the time of writing was Tuesday 24th), I saw on the news that Scotland has made sanitary products free for everyone.
This is excellent news and a step towards ending period poverty.
What Is Period Poverty?
Period poverty is an issue that affects millions of women and girls worldwide. These women and girls cannot afford or don’t have access to safe sanitary products.
Have you ever had to stuff toilet paper in your underpants in an emergency? I have. Now, imagine having to do that every time you get your periods.
The women and girls who cannot afford proper sanitary products might not be stuffing toilet paper in their underpants, but they are using inadequate protection.
Period Poverty Is A Global Issue
It would be easy to assume that this issue only affects women and girls in poorer countries. This isn’t true.
Many women and girls are struggling to afford sanitary products in the so called first-world countries, too. The pandemic has made the situation even more difficult for many people.
What would you do if you had to choose between putting food on your table and buying sanitary towels?
Many women face this question every time they get their periods.
Why We Need A Change?
Women who cannot afford the sanitary products they need often have to manage their periods in ineffective and unsanitary ways.
Not having adequate protection during periods also impacts women’s’ quality of life and creates more inequality. Many of these women and girls end up missing school or job opportunities, thus widening the sex-based equality gap.
Scotland’s Act To End Period Poverty
Following a four-year campaign, Scotland passed the Period Products Act unanimously yesterday evening (24.11.2020).
This is a historical event and an important step to ensure all women and girls have equal opportunities. That they do not miss out on school or work opportunities because of their periods.
I believe all countries should follow Scotland’s example and make sanitary products free for every woman and girl.
How We Can Help
We can all write to our local government representatives and show our support for free sanitary products for all.
If writing to government officials is not your thing, then you can show your support by donating to charities that work to end period poverty. One of these charities is The Red Box Project who want to ensure no young person has to miss out on their education because of their periods.
You can also help by buying sanitary products and donating them to your local food bank.
If we all work together, we can help end period poverty and ensure no woman or girl faces unequal opportunities because of their periods.
Thank you for being here and reading the post.
Until next time!