Period Poverty: Why Should Your Business Care?

April 22, 2024

Period poverty in the UK is an ongoing issue that has only been heightened by the growing cost of essential items. Thousands of girls miss out on school because they can’t afford feminine hygiene products, and some mothers go without in order to provide their daughters with sanitary products. So why should your business care? 

To help fight against period poverty, your business can offer these women and girls a solution. This guide gives you the hard facts about period poverty and shows how your business can help promote change and support women. 

  • What is Period Poverty?: The Facts
  • Solution 1: Educate 
  • Solution 2: Provide Free Feminine Hygiene Products 
  • Join the Fight Against Period Poverty with Woosh 

What is Period Poverty?: The Facts

Period poverty means having limited access to feminine hygiene products, generally due to financial difficulties. In some cases, people have to choose between food or period products. Given that menstruation is a normal part of life, you would assume sanitary products are readily available to everyone, but this is not the case. 

Period poverty in the UK can affect marginalised communities such as low-income individuals and homeless individuals. Over 137,000 girls miss school because they can’t afford sanitary products. This not only affects their education but can also lead to bullying, which can negatively affect attendance even more. Additionally, some girls have had to use toilet paper as an alternative to period products. 

You may expect sanitary products to be easily accessible in the UK, but many mothers also go without sanitary products in order to support their daughters. In some cases, parents resort to stealing feminine hygiene products because they are desperate to help their daughters and don’t want them to miss out on their education.

Experiencing period poverty can lead to anxiety and depression and causes a social stigma. So what can we do to help?  

Solution 1: Educate

Periods are often thought of as a taboo topic, and many girls feel embarrassed to talk about it. This makes girls who are experiencing period poverty in the UK feel less inclined to discuss these issues with others, increasing this stigma. This, in turn, affects their education as they are too embarrassed to go to school when they are on their periods due to a lack of access to sanitary products, which can lead to lower classroom performance. 

To make girls feel more comfortable talking about periods and period poverty, we need to educate them properly. Freedom4Girls, a period poverty charity, is at the forefront of educating girls about periods. With proper education and open dialogue about periods, girls will feel more comfortable going to school while menstruating without the embarrassment and anxiety of their period stopping them. 

An open dialogue also provides these girls with someone to talk to if they are experiencing period poverty so they can get access to free sanitary products if they need to. Equipping girls with knowledge surrounding periods and period poverty can reduce the stigma of period poverty and minimise the embarrassment of talking about periods overall. 

But education alone is not enough to tackle period poverty in the UK. 

Solution 2: Provide Free Feminine Hygiene Products

Education can reduce the stigma and anxiety associated with period poverty, but this still leaves women without sanitary products to handle their periods. So what’s the solution? Providing free feminine hygiene products in schools and businesses. In March 2019, the UK Government announced a scheme to provide free sanitary products in UK secondary schools and colleges to help those experiencing period poverty. However, it is unclear whether this free sanitary product scheme is working. So, what can your business do to help?

Most businesses provide sanitary products through vending machines in their washrooms. Although these vending machines offer a large selection of products, these items are not free, and everyone using the restroom can see you are purchasing them. This leaves women experiencing period poverty not to utilise sanitary product vending machines as they simply cannot afford to or are too embarrassed to. 

This is where you come in! Women have said they would be more likely to spend money at a business providing free sanitary products and feel more valued if free period products were available. By providing free period products to your customers and staff, your business could benefit from more customers overall and make your customers feel more comfortable and valued, so why not provide free menstrual products?

What Can Your Business Do?

The way forward is to offer a free and discrete method of obtaining sanitary products. At Woosh, our Minivend can help solve this issue. You can install a Minivend in the toilet cubicles of a washroom to allow women to use their free feminine hygiene products privately, sparing them any embarrassment they might otherwise feel. By offering free sanitary products, you can make women feel more comfortable, and your business can do its bit to help tackle period poverty! 

Join the Fight Against Period Poverty with Woosh

Period poverty is something that will stick around unless we do something about it. That’s why, at Woosh, we are proud to offer you a solution to help fight against period poverty. Our Minivend offers a discrete method of providing customers and staff with free sanitary products, creating a more welcoming space for everyone. We also offer sanitary bins for discreet waste disposal, helping you maintain a clean washroom. Contact our team today and see how we can help you join the fight against period poverty. 

Period Poverty FAQs

What is period poverty UK?

Period poverty is where women have a lack of access to menstrual products due to factors such as financial difficulties. This can lead to girls not attending school because they cannot afford sanitary products, affecting their education and mental wellbeing. 

How do you fight period poverty?

There are many ways you can help fight period poverty. For example:

  • Donating to a period poverty charity 
  • Attending marches and events
  • Signing petitions
  • Educating yourself and others about period poverty to help remove the stigma
  • Donating menstrual products
  • If you have a business, why not offer free sanitary products? 

What is the main cause of period poverty?

Generally, period poverty is due to financial difficulties. With the increasing price of necessities, many people can no longer afford sanitary products. Some people may even have to choose between food or period products. But this shouldn’t be the case! If you have a business, you can help end period poverty by offering free sanitary products to your customers, creating a more welcoming environment for those experiencing period poverty. 

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