Always Wants to End Period Poverty to Keep More Girls in School
The brand continues its global campaign that has donated more than 30 million pads to girls in need.
In rural South Africa, girls often use rags and newspapers instead of pads or tampons during their periods. In parts of Nepal, girls are sometimes banished to “period huts” when menstruation begins. In India, widespread lack of sanitation systems makes it hard for girls to manage their periods. Across the United Kingdom, 1 in 10 girls is unable to afford sanitary products.
All around the world, millions of girls drop out of school each year because of period poverty, which is when girls and women lack access to sanitary products. In some parts of the world, they also lack menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management facilities.
This International Women’s Day, Always — Procter & Gamble’s leading feminine hygiene brand — is doubling down on its #EndPeriodPoverty campaign.
The company has delivered more than 30 million pads to girls in need this school year in the US, UK, Canada, Greece, Turkey, and more countries, adding to the 80 million pads that have already been provided to girls through other efforts in the last ten years. Throughout Africa, the company has helped 170,000 girls stay in school, and in the US, where period poverty is affecting nearly 1 in 5 girls’ school attendance, Always has donated 15 million pads this school year.
Always is also funding educational programs to dismantle the stigmas surrounding menstruation and help students realize that it’s a basic bodily function that can be discussed openly without shame.
The theme of this year’s IWD is #BalanceForBetter, and Always is seeking to reduce gender disparities in the classroom by helping girls confidently manage their periods. The company’s donations of pads are helping to change the educational outcomes of countless students.
When students are unable to access sanitary pads, they often choose to stay home rather than experience health consequences, hygiene concerns, and harsh stigmas, or their families decide that menstruation and education are incompatible. In both cases, girls often end up dropping out of school.
Other girls turn to unsafe alternatives like toilet paper, rags, and newspaper to manage their periods. If a product fails, then girls could face health problems like urinary tract infections. They’re also prone to being bullied by other students, and the inability to properly manage their periods can distract girls in the classroom and prevent them from participating in extracurricular activities that can help to boost confidence.
Read More: Period Poverty: Everything You Need to Know
When a girl drops out of school, her opportunities become severely limited. In fact, a young girl who is unable to complete her education is at a higher risk of child marriage, early pregnancy, domestic violence, poverty, and more.
According to the World Bank, each additional year of schooling improves a girl’s earning potential and health outcomes, and gives her more control over her body.
Education is a basic human right and Always is committed to ensuring that all girls are able to confidently go to school with or without their periods. To learn more about how the brand is helping to end period poverty, go here.