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Period Poverty: What is it and how can we help?

What is period poverty?

Period poverty affects women and girls all over the world. According to reports, 1 in 4 women in their menstruating years experience period poverty, ranging from the inability to purchase the products they need to the inability to go to work, school, and perform daily activities because of it. It’s not something that just affects homeless women or those with the inability to purchase such items, but children as well. An estimated 14% of girls (of 1000) create their own makeshift solutions, resulting in numerous life-threatening infections and even infertility. Access to sanitary products, safe and hygienic spaces in which to use them, and the right to manage menstruation without shame or stigma is essentially for all who menstruate. Some major problems because of period poverty include the increase of people creating their own makeshift solutions leading to vast infections and infertility, and the lack of accessibility because of taxes on sanitary products. Some actions that can be done are to sign petitions, write to elected officials, and donate to organizations and charities.

Why is period poverty dangerous?

Period poverty comes with its dangers and risks. These risks being that women create their own makeshift solutions for sanitary products such as replacing sanitary products with cloth or toilet paper. This can ultimately be very  unsanitary and can produce dangerous risks to the body. Using a makeshift for a sanitary product can cause lots of serious infections. Infections such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and STI’s. This can easily lead to infertility, furthermore, can even be fatal as gential infections can spread to the rest of the body if they are not properly treated. Many homeless women worry about providing a meal for themselves and necessary goods to live rather than spending money for sanitary products. Which is where tampon tax comes into play.

What is tampon tax and how does it affect women? 

Most states consider female sanitary products to be luxury items, which tampon tax causes many women to have an even more difficult time accessing basic menstrual necessities. Tampon tax exists because menstrual hygiene products are classified as items not qualifying as “treatment or prevention of illness or disease in human beings.” This can affect many women who can not obtain mensural products as they are already, as this just raises the price even more.

How to help:

By: Olivia Katsura

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