Remember when Team Be Me explained PMS a while ago? No? Then, read this blog. However, if you have read it and are here now, chances are that your curiosity got the better of you and you want more wealth of menstruation knowledge.
Hence, this blog by Be Me will be all about period poverty.
Confused? You won’t be, for long.
WHAT IS PERIOD POVERTY?
It refers to a lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management or a combination of these.
This is a prevalent problem worldwide and it prevents people from completing the most menial daily tasks because they don’t have access to the menstrual products that they require.
This type of poverty can make menstruators feel ashamed of menstruating, thus fuelling the fire of the stigma that we have been trying hard to extinguish.
When statistics come into the picture, the problem becomes grimmer. For instance, 500 million people who menstruate don’t have access to menstrual products.
It has also been reported that sometimes, people have to choose between buying food and menstruation products.
GLOBAL MENSTRUAL COLLECTIVE
Period poverty poses social, economic, political, and cultural dilemmas for the menstruating individual. To combat this and to inspire more research on this topic, the Global Menstrual Collective was formed in 2019 by experts belonging to academic institutions, NGOs, governments, UN organizations, etc.
Their belief system entails giving access to information about menstruation, the ability to care for oneself during menstruation, a positive and safe environment to make informed decisions, etc.
Most importantly, the Collective wants to make it easy for menstruators to complete their daily tasks, and go to work/school without feeling hampered.
HOW CAN YOU HELP END PERIOD POVERTY?
Now that you know more about period poverty, there are some ways you can use to combat this public health crisis:
1.IMPART KNOWLEDGE: Whether it’s with the house help or young girls at school, they can always benefit from a little frank talk about periods and how they’re empowering instead of being alarming.
2.TALK ABOUT IT AT WORK: If there’s a way you can have menstruation management integrated into your workplace’s policies, then it would be fantastic! Unlimited access to period facilities and products (perhaps even Be Me sanitary pads) can make all the difference.
3.HOST A CHARITABLE PROGRAM: If it’s within your reach and budget, you can organize programs in NGOs that aim to educate menstruators, provide them with the necessary products and make them feel supported.
Period poverty continues to villanize menstruation, thus making disadvantaged menstruators more reluctant to talk about their experiences. The stigma is even more aggravating for trans individuals who menstruate.
Together, let’s end the stigma, gender bias, and discrimination that periods are constantly surrounded by.