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Giving Compass' Take:
• Helen Lock explains the increasing lack of access to period products during Britain's coronavirus lockdown.
• How does Britain's dearth of period products reflect issues of menstrual health plaguing the rest of the globe? What can we learn from coronavirus about the lack of sufficient women's hygiene education? How can you support those struggling to access period products around the world?
Nearly a third of women and girls aged 14 to 21 have had problems being able to afford or access period products during lockdown in the UK, new research shows.
The survey from the global children’s charity Plan International found that out of the 30% of young women and girls who have struggled to access period products, 54% had to use toilet paper as an alternative.
But due to shortages in stocks of toilet paper during lockdown, 20% said their periods were now even harder to manage.
While Plan International praised the“groundbreaking progress” on period poverty after sanitary products were made freely available in schools and colleges in January, the charity warned that this progress is under threat of being rolled back due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Schools and education centres have been closed to pupils, except for the children of key workers, since 23 March — and are reportedly unlikely to open until at least June, or potentially not until September, after the summer break, for all pupils.
“We have heard so much about access to toilet roll in this pandemic, but we have heard very little about girls and young women being left without period products – even though they too are absolutely essential,” said Rose Caldwell, the chief executive of Plan International UK.
Plan International is calling on the government to not allow the progress on the issue to stall as the country looks to ease up on the lockdown measures.
“Lockdown has exacerbated the already prevalent problem of period poverty in the UK, and we have heard from girls we work with from Kenya to Nepal that this is being reflected across the globe,” Caldwell said.
Read the full article about access to period products by Helen Lock at Global Citizen.