Period Poverty And Women Reproductive Health

Period Poverty And Women Reproductive Health

Period poverty is defined as a lack of access to period products, education, and facilities.

It  is a major issue affecting millions of women globally. Many women and girls do not have access to sufficient menstrual hygiene management and sanitation services. Women’s health suffers as a result of lack of access to menstrual products and facilities, as well as their social and economic well-being.

Lack of access to menstruation products and facilities can result in bacterial infections, reproductive tract infections, and urinary tract infections.

Poor menstrual hygiene management might result in toxic shock syndrome and cervical cancer. The use of unsanitary materials like old rags, leaves, or newspapers can increase the risk of infection and disease.

Women’s mental health is also impacted by period poverty.  Girls who cannot afford menstrual products typically feel humiliated, which leads to anxiety and despair. In rare situations, some girls may drop out of school entirely, resulting in social isolation and marginalization, as well as decreased access to educational and career possibilities, with long-term social and economic ramifications.

Furthermore, the social stigma associated with periods can make women feel ashamed or afraid to seek help or speak out about their problems. This can lead to a lack of menstrual health knowledge and education, prolonging the cycle of period poverty.

innovation of reusable sanitary pads, known as Safe-pad, aims to create economic opportunities for women and young girls in local communities while also providing vulnerable groups with access to affordable or no-cost sanitary pads. In 2024, PREI (Precious Rubies Empowerment Initiatives) aims to provides  education on menstrual hygiene practices to approximately 60 students and distribute over 30 packs of free reusable sanitary pads to vulnerable girls.

To address period poverty, it is essential to break the cycle of shame and stigma surrounding menstrual health. Providing education on period health and sanitation is a necessary step, but women also require access to affordable, reusable, and safe menstruation supplies. To address the root causes of poverty, governments and organizations must prioritize addressing issues such as gender inequality and economic marginalization. By fostering change and raising awareness, it is possible to remove period poverty as a barrier to women’s health. It is imperative that period poverty is recognized as a human rights issue, and that efforts are made to eliminate the stigma associated with it.


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