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Mega Freebie Week | Period Poverty and How it Could Affect You

This week it's Mega Freebie Week, we’re going to be sharing some information on social media and our Union blog that will each be paired with a fun freebie! Today's post is all about period products and educating you on period poverty.

We understand that menstruating can be a difficult time for anybody but today we will be talking to you about period poverty and how it could be affecting you or the people around you. If you've even missed a day of University because you're menstruating, or someone around you can't afford a pack of tampons then this all comes under the issue of period poverty.

Period poverty is a very real issue that can affect girls, women, and everyone who menstruates across the UK. Period poverty is when people do not have access to safe and hygienic sanitary products to help manage menstruation. Period poverty can have mental and physical health problems for those who experience it.

Missing school, college or university due to period poverty

Research undertaken by YouGov on behalf of ActionAid showed 28% of young women (aged 16-24) who have had a period in the last 12 months reported missing school, college or university because of menstruation. Missing days in education due to period poverty can lead to poorer results and low productivity.

Makeshift methods of sanitary products

YouGov's research showed nearly one in 8 women in Great Britain have struggled to buy period products in the last 12 months. Financial difficulties mean people are choosing to pay their bills over buying period products which leads to period poverty. Some people who are struggling to get hold of period products due to financial difficulties are even forced to create makeshift sanitary products from materials like toilet paper, newspaper, and plastic bags. Some people are also wearing sanitary products for longer than advised because of heightened cost. This can obviously lead to hygiene issues and health problems.

Stigma surrounding periods

The stigma surrounding the topic of periods has had a long-lasting effect on menstruators around the world. Societal norms can lead to bullying around the topic of periods and lead menstruators to have poor self-esteem. Young people often feel embarrassed about bringing up the topic and feel uncomfortable speaking to teachers or parents about their period. The stigma around periods can prevent people from seeking help in relation to period poverty, lead to physical issues due to improper use of sanitary products or mental health problems surrounding the issue.

So what does LAU offer to combat period poverty in our community?

You can always pop into the Union or Welfare office to get free disposable period products such as pads or tampons. The Students Union has currently got sustainable tampons that are plastic-free and organic cotton, as well as plant-based night and day pads.

This week we will be giving out reusable period products to students that want them. We have both menstrual cups and reusable pads for our students to take home. This is in an effort to provide our students with period products that can be used monthly and reduce costs spent on period products.

We are increasing awareness around period poverty and trying to reduce the stigma surrounding conversations about periods. You can always speak to the team at the Union surrounding the topic of periods and if you are struggling with period poverty.

Other companies that help to combat period poverty

This company is where all the Union's period products are supplied from. They are a UK-based charity that manufactures sustainable menstrual products and work on a buy-one, donate-one basis. They donate their profits to fighting period poverty across the UK and are lobbying for period dignity. HeyGirls are now the main provider of period products to the Scottish and Welsh government.

A UK-based charity that aims to fight period poverty by reducing stigma, period education and providing period products to those who menstruate. They are primarily West Yorkshire and Leeds based but also run projects in areas of East Africa to those in deprived areas. They educate people on the importance of conversations around period poverty and provide a non-judgemental space for those conversations.

They are a charity that works internationally and globally to raise awareness on topics that affect women and girls throughout the world. They do important work on topics to do with period poverty as well as other problems such as rights and violence against women and girls. They work with girls' clubs and give out sanitary products in emergencies.

Are a global charity that distributes reusable menstrual cups to anyone who cannot afford them. They also provide training on how to use menstrual cups and work on research to do with reproductive health.

If you need further support then please pop into the Union and you can also check out the Support page on your website. The Welfare Portal is also a good place to look if you need some extra information or wish to book an appointment with one of the Welfare Team.



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