Updated: Dec 17, 2018
What In The World… by Danielle Daggett.
COMING UP IN ASPIRE'S JANUARY ISSUE...
Welcome to What In The World - a new, regular feature where we step out of our local comfort zone and look at the bigger picture; focusing on both hot topics and world wide issues that need to be discussed. This month, the spotlight is on Period Poverty.
In a nutshell, Period Poverty is a lack of access to required sanitary products due to financial constraints.
Upon hearing the term ‘period poverty’, most of us think this is problem only faced in developing and war-torn countries, but the unfortunate truth is it’s a problem everywhere! Recent studies have shown that in the UK one third of the population have experienced poverty in recent years, and young women are especially vulnerable. Period poverty has a serious effect on a woman’s physical and mental health and statistics show it effects the quality of life and education of thousands of young women in the UK.
Over 800 million women and girls around the world are forced miss school or work when they have their period. In the UK, girls as young as 10 have had to choose between missing out on their education or going to school and using makeshift protection, such as loo roll, socks and even newspaper!
Like everywhere, here in the UK, we need to ditch the taboo and spread the word on the reality of period poverty; the childhoods it robs and the humiliation and social isolation it causes.
In 2017, 18 year old student, Amika George launched the #FreePeriods campaign. Since then, it’s taken flight and Amika has achieved great strides in her fight against period poverty. Three UK parties included a promise to tackle period poverty in their manifestos following the election, and in 2018 the Scottish government pledged to provide free sanitary products in all schools and colleges.
(WATCH THIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WRuKvLMkpA)
(FOLLOW: @AmikaGeorge on Twitter)
Leeds based charity Freedom4Girls actively support women and girls in the UK and internationally, by offering not just disposables, but environmentally-friendly, washable re-usables and menstrual cups. They deliver quality menstrual education to tackle stigma and taboo around women’s physical and mental health experiences affected by their period. (www.freedom4girls.co.uk)
In developing countries, charities such as Action Aid are working to build safe spaces for girls in schools and in their communities, along with offering education on menstrual and sexual health. They’re providing sanitary products and building toilets and showers for a more hygienic environment. (www.actionaid.org.uk)
People can make a difference. Whether you sponsor a girl or sign a petition for free products in schools, donate a pack of pads or share a post on Facebook, every little action helps.
“I dream of a day where not a single girl on earth will miss out on an education or a childhood just because she was born with a uterus" – Amika George.
Product donations are welcomed at Skipton Food Bank. To find drop off locations and learn more about their work with The Red Box Project, please search @skiptonbaptistfoodbank on Facebook.
Visit www.redboxproject.org to get involved, make a donation and find your local drop off station.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please do get in touch.
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