Period poverty is defined as the lack of affordability to proper sanitary products, period education, and hygienic sanitation facilities due to the low economical background. Especially seen in most of the rural areas in India. It is a continuing and major issue of concern and it affects the development of the country in various aspects.
To know the period of poverty in detail, we need to know what are the key elements:
Low Affordability Of Menstrual Products
A report by NGO Dasra and USAID shows that 23 million girls in India drop out of school due to a lack of menstrual products and sanitation facilities, and many women especially in rural areas still use menstrual cloth which creates the chances of infection and can adversely affect their health.
Lack Of Awareness And Education
Mensuration is considered to be a very secretive topic in India, many girls do not know about periods until the time of their periods and face more difficulties at that time. Proper education can contribute to breaking social barriers and stigmas.
Social Barrier And Discrimination
Due to myths and shame which are related to periods girls face exclusion and discrimination which affect their mental health and also they lack opportunities for education and daily activities.
Consequences of Period Poverty
1 - Health Risks
Without access to proper menstrual products, individuals resort to using unhygienic materials like rags, newspapers, or leaves, which can lead to infections, rashes, and other health issues.
2 - Education Disruptions
Lack of access to menstrual products and inadequate sanitation facilities often forces students, particularly girls, to miss school during their periods. This absenteeism can significantly impact their educational opportunities and contribute to gender inequality.
3 - Emotional And Psychological Impact
The shame, embarrassment, and social isolation associated with period poverty can have detrimental effects on individuals' mental well-being and self-esteem.
We are glad that this issue of period poverty is highlighting in our country during the last few years, The Times of India launches ‘#Cut The Shame” which encourages open conversation and raises awareness about menstrual health and poverty and breaks the old social practices of shame regarding periods and other campaigns like #Bleed In Peace ’21, Red Pride, Laal Dhaaga and ISSA also launched the End Period Poverty campaign.
Join Our Hands Towards Addressing Period Poverty
1 - Access To Affordable Products
Governments, NGOs, and social enterprises can work together to make menstrual products more affordable or provide them free of charge to those in need. Eliminating taxes on these products and implementing subsidy programs can help alleviate financial burdens.
2 - Improved Infrastructure
Investing in water and sanitation infrastructure, especially in schools and public spaces, is crucial for ensuring dignified and safe menstrual hygiene management.
3 - Education and Awareness
Comprehensive menstrual health education programs can help debunk myths, eradicate stigma, and promote awareness about menstrual hygiene. These programs should target both girls and boys, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
4 - Advocacy and Policy Changes
Advocacy efforts are crucial in challenging societal norms and advocating for policy changes. Governments must recognize period poverty as a serious issue and implement supportive policies to address it effectively.
We as a brand D’chica also took the initiative regarding the issue, providing free period panties to those girls who got their first period and also we connected with the schools to provide proper period education to girls and boys.