Period poverty is not just about lack of access to products, it also describes restrictions to sufficient education and knowledge of what a healthy and dignified period should look like.
Shame and stigmas that are still associated with periods can make it challenging for people of all ages to find the resources they need.
It's important to understand that anyone can experience period poverty and there are many variations of it.
Now more than ever before, we're seeing people turn to foodbanks and donations for their basic needs. This could be someone closer to home than you realise and their situation could vary month to month. Period poverty looks different for everyone.
The most extreme cases usually see a person left with the impossible decision of choosing between food and self care items due to lack of income. We've learned that members of our community partners have used drastic measures as alternatives to period pads such as socks, layers of newspaper and even a slice of bread.
Other situations include having to use period products for a longer time than medically advised in order to preserve as many products as you can. This is dangerous and in some situations can be fatal.
The impact living in period poverty has on a persons life can have serious repercussions.
- 48% admitted to missing out on education because of their period
- 40% of people said they called in sick to work too
We believe access to products is a right, not a privilege. Quality period care should be
classed as an essential item - toilet paper is provided for free so why not pads and tampons too?
Period Dignity describes how easy it is for someone to access period products and education around what a healthy period looks like. We use these values to explain what a dignified period is:
read on below...
Access: everyone should be able to access products for free and without barriers. They should be available in public spaces, visibly displayed to avoid having to ask for them.
Respect: period poverty impacts people in so many different ways, products should be available without any questions asked in female, male and accessible washrooms. Our product dispensers don't require any monetary transactions so people are free to take what they need.
Education: breaking down the myths and stigma around periods normalises the difficult conversations we need to have. It's important everyone understands the basics about menstruation as well as the details not always covered by schools or family members.
We provide all our education materials for free so everyone, no matter their age, gender, religion or ability can feel confident talking about periods. We also cover 'signs to look out for' to avoid undiagnosed medical issues or 'problem periods'. All our language is inclusive as a way to educate people that not everyone who menstruates identities as female.
Quality: we only use high quality materials and use plant based ingredients wherever possible like responsibly sourced bamboo and certified organic cotton. Our reusable products use medical grade silicone and we never use bleach, perfumes, toxins or chemicals in our products.
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