Inaccessibility to sanitary products in modern society is sadly more common than you might think and can have awful consequences.
But what is the damage that is being done to teenage girls and anyone who menstruates in particular? Is there enough being done to combat these concerns?
This article will look at the negative effects of period poverty and what it means for teenage girls in everyday life.
What is Period Poverty?
Period poverty is the term used when somebody doesn’t have the financial means to purchase sanitary products. One of the first instances the term was used was in a 2017 UNICEF and WaterAid report into inaccessibility to feminine hygiene products.
In 2021, the Irish government announced an investigation into the prevalence and effects of period poverty in Ireland, establishing that around 85,000 women and girls could be at risk nationwide.
The numbers are even worse in other corners of the planet. This is why Riley partners with organizations both at home in Ireland and abroad in Kenya in a bid to end period poverty and make menstrual products available to everyone, whenever and wherever they need them.
Find out more about our story and what products are available to you on the Riley website.
What are the Negative Effects of Period Poverty?
Another study in Ireland found that half of the teenage girls surveyed stated that they couldn’t afford the necessary items for their periods. The unaffordability of menstrual products results in missed school days for teenagers, hindering their education as their classmates continue to learn in their absence.
Shockingly, a study in Missouri, USA found that almost 2 out of every 3 girls couldn’t afford sanitary products. Period poverty statistics Stateside show that teenagers of working age are less productive in their jobs if they suffer from period poverty (which we think is completely understandable and awful that they’re experiencing this injustice in the first place).
Sadly, not having the right products during your period can lead to vaginal infections, UTIs, thrush, and other issues. These serious health conditions are concerning and lead to embarrassment for teenagers.
It isn’t just physical problems that period poverty creates either. Another negative effect of the problem is the mental health challenges it can cause people everywhere, contributing towards severe depression in some cases.
Therefore, often because of government inaction, this puts even further strain on the mental health system because there are a greater number of girls seeking assistance.
The Fight Against Period Poverty
At Riley, we are on a mission to end this inaccessibility. As a result of our partnership with Development Pamoja, an Irish registered charitable organization, we are delivering doctor-led menstrual programs in countries like Kenya and have supplied almost 50,000 sanitary products to those that need them there.
The damaging effects, both physical and mental, have led people to campaign for governments to do more to provide for young women who lack the finances to pay for their sanitary products, arguing that it could be beneficial economically in the long run as addressing the problem would reduce medical requirements and mental health concerns.
A percentage of every sale of our award-winning and sustainable products is donated to charitable organizations that fight against period poverty and provide tampons for teens everywhere who lack the financial resources during menstruation.