Did you know that approximately forty million women and girls around the world have no ability to afford female hygiene products and toiletries, such as tampons and pads ?
What worse ? Women are often too ashamed and embarrassed to bring up the topic of menstrual cycles. Check out five facts about period poverty that are important to talk about and to end #periodpoverty in the world.
Here are five facts about period poverty that are important to talk about :
The stigma surrounding periods has been shown to directly affect a girl’s potential to succeed. Missing school during menstrual cycles has been a well-known pattern for girls from low-income families. They are skipping school because they cannot afford sanitary pads or tampons. In parts of India and Nepal, cultural taboos mean menstruating women and girls are banished from their homes at night, putting them at risk. Several have died in Nepal in recent years (source : Reuters).
If a girl misses school every time she has her period, she is set 145 days behind her fellow male students. Many girls in the developing countries choose to drop out of school altogether rather than face the embarrassment and shame of being unprepared for their periods.
Lack of information and affordability have led many young women to use only one tampon per day or one pad for multiple days.
Lack of menstrual hygiene can lead to very serious health risks such as Toxic Shock Syndrome, a life-threatening illness. In Bangladesh, India and many other countries, infections and cervical cancer are also results of poor hygiene.
Problem is not only the pads accessibility. Period pain and other untreated conditions also affect the lives of many young girls and women. Menstrual pain is poorly understood, even in the world’s richest countries. Long-term conditions like endometriosis, which affects one in 10 women of reproductive age, are often misdiagnosed and go untreated. But in the developing world, pain isn’t just misunderstood, it’s ignored.
Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize the effects the period poverty has on young women and girls. It’s time to shine a light on this and stop the stigma.