The Truth About "Period Poverty" and What Can Be Done To Help

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Jun 03, 2019

Every woman knows that creating a monthly budget means more than just accounting for weekly groceries and bills. A large segment of the population must struggle each month to find money to pay for sanitary products and as we all know, it’s not cheap. A new report from CBS’s Christina Capitides called What is Period Poverty? delves into the issues women and girls face and offers clips from a new CBSN documentary, Period. Half the population has one. But no one talks about it.

Capitides points out that women are 38% more likely to be living in poverty than men and all must deal with the added expense of having their period each month. Services meant to help those in need like foodstamps and Medicaid do not include access to free period supplies. Homeless mom of four, Nicole Johnson now resides in a shelter and explains, “The average mother will put food on that table for their children with the last five in your pocket and she will find other ways to get the other necessities that she needs.” Often times it means using toilet paper from public restrooms and risking stains on some of their only clothing.

And it’s not just adults that experience period poverty, young girls often struggle to have enough supplies each month. Congresswoman of New York, Grace Meng, has brought the Menstrual Equity for All Act in front of congress and it would allow girls in school to have free access to pads and tampons, require coverage for women on Medicaid, and it would also supply free period products to women in prison. Meng explains why she has chosen this issue to focus on saying, “The fact that there are people who aren't able to afford these products, and as a result, may miss school, may miss work, face certain stigma — I think it's a human rights issue that, especially in the United States of America, women should not have to be dealing with.”

What do you think of the struggle many women face to afford access to pads and tampons each month?

Do you think Congresswoman’s Meng’s initiative should be enacted throughout the U.S.?

Make a Comment

Mommie2 by Mommie2 | Carmichaels, PA
Jul 30, 2019

wow I had no clue period products and expensive no matter how you look at it or what brand you go with it would be great if Medicaid or even food stamps would help out I been there I know what its like to struggle to buy them every month

janiea by janiea | JACKSON, GA
Jul 10, 2019

I bled from age 12 to age 55. That's 43 yrs! That, and sev other illnesses put me in the hospital. Period isn't an illness you say? It is when you become hospitalized for anemia! I've had to have the best protection money can buy in order to go to work & school. I feel terrible for girls/women who can't afford any or the best. I've seen opened packages on the store shelves where someone has had to swipe a pad until they could get some from somewhere. I also feel terrible for women such as my grandmother who never knew about the luxuries that we have today.

Slfrank by Slfrank | NAPLES, FL
Jun 08, 2019

I have been one of those woman it was tough there were places you could go to get donated items such as pads and tampons they called them pantries where I was living at the time. They had food pantries and clothing pantries and if you were a woman they would give you a bag of toiletries that had those items in them along with toilet paper and basic hygiene items. I noticed not all states had towns that did this as I moved around would be nice if more places did this!!

browneyes78 by browneyes78 | Homosassa, FL
Jun 05, 2019

We dont ask to have periods, they should provide tampons/pads to ALL females, not just jailed, old, young or poor.

gmoney1951 by gmoney1951 | MORGANTOWN, WV
Jun 05, 2019

I did not know/realize that about Period Poverty till recently. I have been reading about a lot of period companies that are donating products. It's sad for adult women to have this problem, but what breaks my heart is school kids having this problem. I have read about some teachers that keep a supply of products on hand and let their girl students know about it.