Half of the world’s population menstruates. But two out of every five menstruators struggle to afford basic hygiene supplies. This is what’s known as period poverty.
No one should have to miss school or work because they can’t afford the necessities they require.
In 30 of the United States, period supplies are taxed as “luxury” items, not necessities, making them even more cost prohibitive, and there is no federal aid program to help people purchase these necessities.
In developing countries, cultural taboos around menstruation increase the risk of menstruators being subjected to preventable violence and health issues; the problem is compounded by limited access to hygienic products and safe, sanitary restrooms.
Girls who cannot safely manage their periods may miss class, fall behind in their studies, and drop out of school. Without an education, they are more likely to marry and have children at a young age.
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Sylvia’s Sisters is working to break the cycle. Get involved.
Period poverty and mental health implications among college-aged women in the United States
- 1 in 10 US college students experience period poverty.
State of the Period Study 2021
- 23% of teenage students have struggled to afford period products.
- 51% of students have worn period products for longer than recommended.
- Nearly three-quarters (72%) of students wish there were more vocal advocates talking about issues associated with periods.
- 16% of students have chosen to buy period products over food or clothes as a result of the pandemic. Latinx, rural, low-income, and college students are most impacted.
2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov
- In a new study conducted by U by Kotex®, research shows that two in five people have struggled to purchase period products (1), a 35% increase from the brand’s initial research in 2018.
- A quarter of Black (23%) and Latina (24%) people with periods strongly agree that they have struggled to afford period products in the past year. (2)
- 27% of all respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to access period products, with two-thirds (65%) of those who have struggled stating that they lacked access to period products because they could not afford them. (3)
- Over one-third (38%) of low-income women report missing work, school, or similar events due to lack of access to period supplies. (3)
- Nearly seven in ten (68%) people agree that period poverty is a public health issue, yet only 4% of Americans are aware of a local resource where free or reduced cost period supplies are available. (3)
1 Within their lifetimes, due to lack of income, according to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov
2 In the past year, according to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov
3 According to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov