• Feminine hygiene products are often expensive and can cause financial burden for women.
• The recent success of the “Free menstrual products in schools” campaign has demonstrated that there is support for providing access to feminine hygiene products for free or at a reduced cost.
• Governments, corporations, and advocacy groups have all taken action to make feminine hygiene products more affordable and accessible.
Feminine Hygiene Products: A Financial Burden For Women
Feminine hygiene products are essential items for many women, yet they can be costly. According to a study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), nearly two-thirds of women in developing countries struggle to afford sanitary pads. In addition, most states in the US levy taxes on tampons and other personal care items which further increase their cost. This financial burden puts an added strain on low-income households and can prevent women from accessing necessary items during their period.
Campaigns Aim To Make Accessibility Easier
In response to this issue, numerous campaigns have been launched with the goal of making feminine hygiene products more accessible and affordable. In 2017, the “Free menstrual products in schools” campaign was created with the aim of providing free pads and tampons in public school bathrooms across the US. The success of this campaign demonstrated that there is widespread support for making these essential items more accessible.
Governments around the world have taken steps to provide relief from these costs by introducing exemptions from sales taxes or offering subsidies on certain items such as pads and tampons. Several states in the US have passed laws exempting feminine hygiene products from sales tax while other countries such as Ireland have gone one step further by completely abolishing their tax on sanitary pads altogether.
In addition to governmental action, a number of companies have made efforts to make feminine hygiene products more accessible by offering discounts or launching initiatives aimed at helping those in need access these essential items without breaking their budget. In 2019, subscription service HelloFlo launched its ‘Period Power’ program which offers discounted prices on menstrual supplies for low-income families. Other companies like Always have also taken action by launching programs that offer free pads and tampons in homeless shelters around America as well as donating them abroad through international aid organizations such as UNICEF UK and WaterAid India .
Advocacy Groups Working Towards Change
Lastly, advocacy groups are also playing an important role in raising awareness about this issue while pushing for policy change that would ensure greater accessibility of these essential items worldwide . Organizations like Period Equity work towards advancing menstrual equity through legal advocacy while others such as Days For Girls focus on education initiatives aimed at reducing stigma around menstruation . These types of initiatives are crucial for ensuring everyone has access to affordable feminine hygiene products no matter where they live or how much money they make .