Although there has been a flurry of domestic activity aimed at tackling the lack of access to sanitary products and period poverty, this is a global issue with far-reaching consequences. With 800 million people menstruating at any one time, it is crucial that everyone knows about the basic need for proper sanitary products and hygienic menstruation.
Indeed Global Citizen defines the issue more widely as “the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management”. This demonstrates that Period Poverty is a broad issue and it requires a holistic approach in order to tackle it.
Education and awareness of the hygiene issues surrounding menstruation are crucial. A lack of knowledge in this area can seriously jeopardise the health of anyone who is menstruating. As recently as January the banned practice of banishment to menstruation huts led to the deaths of a woman and two children in Nepal after they were overcome by fumes from an indoor fire. Fortunately, tragic stories such as these are uncommon, but the more widespread report that girls in Africa frequently miss school due to the taboo surrounding menstruation reveals the general lack of information around periods and the prevalence of Period Poverty.
The importance of education
Our charitable partner Freedom4Girls are working throughout the world to provide both the education and products necessary to combat Period Poverty.
Since 2016, Freedom4Girls have been working in Kenya using a two pronged approach to improve education about menstrual hygiene as well as access to sanitary products. By staging sewing workshops to produce washable and reusable sanitary products Freedom4Girls provides the ongoing means to have a safe period. In doing so they resolve the core problem of Period Poverty; a lack of access to period products. However, their work does not stop there.
Alongside these practical workshops, Freedom4Girls deliver educational sessions that aim to normalise menstruation and raise awareness of the accompanying issues surrounding periods. Through these sessions in Kenya, Freedom4Girls have so far managed to educate over 10,000 girls about proper menstrual hygiene as well as providing in excess of 500 period packs that ensure three years of safe periods.
Freedom4Girls have also recently expanded their overseas programme into Uganda, but Period Poverty is not just a foreign issue. According to Plan International, 1 in 10 disadvantaged girls under the age of 21 cannot afford sanitary products. In response to this, Freedom4Girls have increased their presence in the UK by collecting and distributing products as well as developing an education programme to improve the awareness around menstruation.
What this means
We are delighted to support Freedom4Girls in their endeavours at home and away. Our discrete Period Dignity cubicle dispenser is specifically designed to maintain the dignity of the user by allowing them to access products in the anonymity of the cubicle. Because we donate £5 per dispenser we install and £1 per case of refills we sell to Freedom4Girls, the sale of our Period Poverty range not only helps to provide Period Dignity, but allows our charitable partners to continue their excellent work in normalising menstruation throughout the world.
So if you would like to achieve Period Dignity in your premise and support the worldwide fight against Period Poverty, please contact us.