What is period poverty?
Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products due financial, social or environmental restraints, and it’s an issue many women in the UK face.
Why should anyone be at a disadvantage when it comes to sanitary products? For the sake of fairness and equality, period poverty ought to be tackled until it is no longer existent.
We believe that all women should have access to free period products, because they are a necessity, not a luxury. No one should have to go through a period without sanitary care.
phs’s fight against period poverty
Our parent company, phs, are working with educational organisations across the UK to develop the best solution possible for providing free period products in schools and colleges.
phs have been supporting charitable causes and engaging with government, local authorities, schools and businesses as part of their “period equity initiative”. This includes contributing to a newly formed Period Poverty Taskforce, chaired by the Minister for Women and Equalities, Plan International UK and Procter & Gamble, to provide period equality and end negative stigma around menstruation.
They’ve also commissioned new research into the experiences and opinions of girls surrounding period poverty and have launched an awareness-raising campaign.
What does the research say?
According to Plan International UK, one in 10 young women can’t afford period products.
Reports suggest that, in the last 12 months, one third of girls have had to give sanitary products to a friend, and more than 52% of teenage girls have missed school or college because of their period.
Research into the school environment shows that being unable to access period products can have a detrimental effect on both attendance and academic achievement.
This lack of sanitary products puts some learners at a serious disadvantage, ultimately creating an unfair learning environment.
What’s the solution?
In response to growing awareness of this situation (as well as a rise in demand from customers), phs created a free-vend sanitary dispenser.
Free-vend machines offer an immediate solution and a product selection that suits everyone (with a choice of pads and tampons, including environmentally-friendly and reusable products). The installation of these in washrooms gives females instant and discreet access, ridding the situation of any inconvenience or embarrassment (such as having to visit a school nurse or being delayed in hygiene matters).
phs are also implementing a new Period Product Provision scheme to ensure free sanitary products are available to students in schools and colleges. This scheme is to enable all learners to fully participate in education, without feeling hindered by period poverty.
To find out more about the fight against period poverty, take a look at phs’s whitepaper here.