Struggling to pay for pads, tampons or other period products each month is shockingly a stark reality for many. And so National Hygiene Week (October 3-9th) was a big red flag reminder for Y.O.U to keep raising awareness about period poverty!
How Does Hygiene Poverty Affect Vulnerable People?
Everyone should be able to manage their period safely and with dignity, without it affecting their education and daily life. However, it’s estimated that 500 million people do not have access to adequate period products, which has a devastating impact:
- In South Africa, around 30% of girls miss school during their periods, due to not being able to afford menstrual products
- In the UK, 1 in 10 girls cannot afford menstrual products, and 49% have missed a day of school due to their period
What are Y.O.U Doing to Make A Difference?
Lots! We're proud to say at our Y.O.U shop in Oxford's Covered Market, we accept donations of pads, tampons, nappies and wet wipes on behalf of the charity YWMP (Young Women's Music Project) to support their Wings project, which is aiming to create a distribution network of period products in Oxford, so next time you're passing, please feel free to drop off any spares you can contribute, they will make a big difference and give people access to the basics they need.
We're passionate about reducing period poverty, and so we’re working with multiple charities to help provide vulnerable women and children with underwear.
Since the beginning of Y.O.U, we have supported Smalls For All, a charity which provides vulnerable women and children across the UK and Africa with underwear. We have a buy-one give-two model, which means that for every pair of underwear you buy, two pairs are donated to Smalls For All, and in July earlier this year we hit our goal of donating 23,000 pairs of underwear to Smalls for All, over six months early!
There's more! - We also provide girls in the Maasai communities of Kenya with a pair of underwear for every purchase from our Mara collection, and we’re partnering with Just a Drop, who provide recourses to help girls in Uganda manage their periods while at school, by donating £1 from sales of our menstrual cups to the charity.
What Further Actions Can We Take To Help?
As well as choosing to buy from shops like Y.O.U which provide vulnerable people with underwear, why not consider donating unused period and other hygiene products such as shower gel or toothpaste to The Hygiene Bank accepts donations of new, unused and in-date products, which is a brilliant way to ensure vulnerable people are able to manage their period more easily. Alternatively, The Hygiene Bank accepts donations of money, and donating to charities such as Smalls For All and Just a Drop is a meaningful action to help prevent period poverty and the impact it has on the lives of many people across the world.
Photo credit: Image of tampons and pads by Cliff Booth.