Period poverty is a lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management, or a combination of these. It affects an estimated 500 million people worldwide.
Globally, an estimated 500 million people who menstruate lack access to menstrual products and hygiene facilities.
There are an estimated 16.9 million people who menstruate living in poverty in the United States.
Just 36% of India's 355 million menstruating female population use sanitary towels for protection. An estimated 70 percent of all reproductive health issues are caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
71% of girls in India report having no knowledge of menstruation before their first period. This unpreparedness leads to shock, fear, frustration at the situation and anxiety. And that often results in school dropouts.
Effects of period poverty
One of the most devastating effects of period poverty is school dropouts. It has been estimated that 1 out of 5 girls drop out of school after they start menstruating. While an average of more than 40% of students in India resort to missing school while menstruating because of social stigma, isolation, embarrassment, and inaccessibility of period products. Add to that the fact that even after all these years, in India menstrual products are still not considered essential items.
Period poverty is also a major cause of increased illness and possible deaths amongst menstruators. With minimum access to menstrual products, lack of medical care, and poor menstrual hygiene, diseases like UTIs and other infections often end up being fatal. Furthermore, malnutrition, which even in 2021 is a serious issue in India, often impacts the health of menstruators severely.
Save the Child Foundation " Pad Facts"
As of year 2022 which ended on August 30, 2022.