PERIOD POVERTY IN THE UK
1 in 10 girls can't afford to buy menstrual products according to Plan International UK.
Over 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty.
68% said they felt less able to pay attention in class at school or college while menstruating.
Menstrual products cost more than £18,000, in a women’s life (£13 every month).
40% of girls in the UK have used toilet roll because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.
In March 2019, the UK Government pledged to provide free period products in all English primary schools, secondary schools and colleges from 2020.
This is a huge breakthrough and will mean that no child will miss out on their education just because she bleeds.
Free Periods is ready to hold the government to account should this not be rolled out in its full entirety.
We campaigned. They listened. But we have much more work to do.
THE GLOBAL PICTURE
The United Nations has noted that up to 30 percent of Afghan and Nepalese girls miss school every month during their period, while in India around 20 percent drop out of education entirely after their period begins.
In countries such a Nepal, girls are forced to sleep outside in ‘period huts’ in a practice known as Chhaupadi. Although it’s banned, it still happens. Many girls and women have died from cold, smoke inhalation or snake bites.
In Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia, child marriage would decrease by over 60 percent if all girls had secondary education
The failure to support women to manage their periods is a loss for society at large.
A survey of more than 1,000 girls found nearly half were embarrassed by their period and many were afraid to ask for help because of the stigma.
Almost half of British girls have said they have witnessed their peers being bullied or shamed about their periods.
The stigma surrounding periods has been shown to directly affect a girl’s potential to succeed. If a girl misses school every time she has her period, she is set 145 days behind her fellow male students.
We need to normalise the conversation surrounding periods, and end the silence and stigma that is culturally and socially entrenched. Half of the world’s population bleeds every month, so why are we too embarrassed to talk about this very normal, natural process?
Lets get talking. Regardless of how gross, disgusting or graphic.
Tell EVERYONE you know - friends, parents, siblings, teachers, postman - about your period.
We need to smash the taboo around menstruation and this can only be done by expelling any embarrassment or shame, and talking about periods. No matter how bloody.