Charlotte Willcox -

 By: Reema S.

There are women globally who suffer and must shove leaves in their underpants while being exiled like some dirty creature in a shed isolated from their family. This is just one of the numerous examples of period poverty. Period poverty is a pandemic that is prevalent in numerous places in every nation in the world. Some people don’t like talking about periods, and think it is a scary and confusing thing. No matter how people feel about it, however, 50% of the world is female so this is a topic of conversation long overdue.

Many girls, including myself, are very blessed to have never struggled with a period. Yes, sometimes it hurts, and yes I wish it would go away sometimes. That is not what I mean because the majority of women who have a period think that too; I mean I have never struggled in the way that I don’t have the resources to buy sanitary pads, or I could never ask someone like a mom or sister about menstrual cycles. Many girls don’t have this, and this is where period poverty begins. Sometimes people have the means to go and buy pads, but in a place where periods are tabooed, such as male dominated society, they are harder to access. Or it could be the other way around because periods are such a taboo topic, prices are incredibly over-inflated which means something as simple and necessary as a pad is too expensive to obtain.

A combination of high prices, limited access, and periods being taboo translates to harsh realities for women that experience period poverty; situations like makeshift pads made of cloth which could cause infections; having to stay away from males while menstruating because of patriarchal traditions; maybe even a girl’s education being sacrificed because bleeding out in school is almost a guaranteed probability because she doesn’t have the right resources.

Periods affect a woman's life in all aspects because pads are not a luxury - they are a necessity.

Period poverty is still an extremely prevalent issue, but some amazing people and organizations have worked hard to combat it. Arunachalam Muruganantham, nicknamed Padman, created a way for women in small villages to be able to manufacture their own pads; the Pad Project works to get resources to women that may not have them and end period stigma.

The point is, period poverty is a known issue, whether it is experienced or not, and it needs to be solved so every woman can have the simple necessity of a pad.

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