Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Discussing Ending Period Poverty

When a national and international issue comes to light that's been happening for some while, you start to feel a little naive about not knowing about the situation beforehand, am I right? What I've wanted to write about for a while is period poverty. It's something that is relatively new to me and not to sound completely ignorant, but something that has never crossed my mind before.

Did you know the average lifetime cost of having a period is £4800? And don't even get me started on the whole tampon tax issue (blog post here) but if you're interested the BBC have a fab calculator to work out how much you've spent and how much you will spend in the future. It's the staggering cost of having a monthly period, which lets face it isn't something we'd really ask for, is what's causing period poverty across the UK.

Many people living without sanitary products resort to using tissue, socks and even newspaper to get them through their period. And lets face it, our periods aren't exactly a picnic each month anyway. Girls are missing school because of their periods and there's a stigma of shame attached to this natural cycle that happens in our bodies each month.

Since the extent of period poverty has been broadcasted, the government has been called upon to tackle this issue and support those in need. And still nothing has been address. However Scotland is now running a pilot scheme offering free products to low-income families in Aberdeen, which will hopefully be an example to set to the rest of the UK. The many protests and trending hashtag #EndPeriodPoverty has gathered major awareness, as well as inspiring many to give sanitary products to their local food banks.

There's many ways to get involved in ending period poverty and supporting those in need to basic sanitary products. You can give to local food banks, donate to Bloody Good Period who give asylum seekers access to sanitary products, get involved in petitions and lobby to your local MP to make a change and finally make your voice heard on social media. We're lucky to have a tool where we can voice our opinions and spread awareness, so do some good with it and help to end period poverty!

This story really touched me because although period poverty is not something I've luckily experienced, having my monthly period is. And because of that I can't imagine not having access to the basic sanitary products for my period. From now whenever I buy my sanitary products, I'm going to buy extra to donate to a food bank and make sure I show my support on social media too!

How are you going to help end period poverty?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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