January 11, 2019 at 09:20AM by CWC
Real talk: It’s annoying for every woman to have to shell out money every month for tampons and pads—as if you have a choice in the whole getting-your-period thing. But if you’re a woman in without money, you feel the blow the hardest. According to a new survey, nearly two-thirds of low-income women say they can’t afford menstrual hygiene products, Reuters reports. Instead, they use rags, toilet paper, paper towels—anything free they can get their hands on.
“This is not a luxury,” said associate professor in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at St. Louis University Anne Sebert Kuhlmann in an interview with Reuters. “It’s a need. It affects a woman’s sense of self, her sense of dignity, and her ability to participate in life.”
When it comes to giving back, feminine hygiene products aren’t as front of mind as other things, like food, clothing, and blankets—which are greatly needed, too! Here are three ways you can help provide better access to menstrual products for women in need:
1. Donate products to Support The Girls. This non-profit provides bras and feminine hygiene products to homeless women with affiliates all around the world, including 48 different locations in North America and in Australia, Philippines, and Pakistan. Check out their locations page for more infomation.
2. Buy a menstrual cup with a one-for-one model. Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups can be reused, making them a valuable resource for women in need. Ruby Cup has adopted a model similar to the one implemented by Tom’s shoes. For every product sold, one is donated to a school girl in East Africa.
3. Donate to #HappyPeriod. This non-profit provides menstrual hygiene kits to people in need here in the United States. If you don’t have money to give, that’s cool—they can also help you arrange a donation drive in your community or set up a chapter in your city, squaring you away with what you need to collect donations and volunteers to give out the kits.