Reported Shortages of Menstrual Products Amid Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has caused shortages of pads and tampons for women and girls on a global scale according to a survey conducted by Plan International. About 58% of respondents complained of the increased prices on menstrual products as well as reduced access to clean water to manage hygiene.
CEO of Plan International Australia Susanne Legena said of the crisis, “Periods don’t stop during a pandemic, but managing them safely and with dignity has become a whole lot harder.”
She made the statement during Menstrual Hygiene Day and noted the scarcity of products for girls, suggesting governments include menstrual hygiene in their response plans and investments in water and sanitation.
A recent study published by the Menstrual Health Alliance of India found a quarter of the women in the country as well as different parts of Africa had no access to sanitary products during the pandemic.
As a result, women in poor countries are resorting to dangerous methods of managing their periods, increasing their chances of a bacterial infection. When it comes to girls, many received sanitary products at school, but with the lockdown and water scarcity, the girls have been prevented from practicing healthy menstrual hygienic care.
The Realist Woman’s take:
This pandemic just won't quit.
Period Poverty was already an issue but the pandemic has worsened this crisis. Not only are there shortages of products but price hikes on the pads and tampons as well. A lack of access to water is an issue.
Before the pandemic, girls were missing school because they had no access or funds to buy menstrual products. And now with the pandemic still very much going strong, schools that did provide the products are closed, leaving girls to practice dangerous and unsafe methods of handling their menstrual cycle. Women and girls need their governments to step up and take on this issue. Missing out on their education, endangering their own health to manage their periods through unsafe practices, and being ostracized in many cultural practices is too much. Our women and girls need help.
How to help:
Bustle has a list of 10 charities providing girls with menstrual products.
You can also donate to I Support the Girls, who has teamed up with menstrual product company LOLA to provide girls with LOLA's 100% organic cotton, free of toxins or dyes, pads, tampons, and panty liners.
I can name so many more but the links I've provided are a great start. Times are tough. Anything you donate to these charities is greatly appreciated.
There are also reports of increased prices on products and reduced access to water