Thu, 01 Dec 2022


According to statistics, British women spend an average of Pound 18,450 on hygiene products. These costs do not include items such as physiological pants, painkillers, pre-contraception pills, and menstrual disorders. The high expenditure makes many women unaffordable.


Women are more likely to fall into poverty than men, not only in money poverty but also in "Period Poverty." (Photo via unsplash.com)

London, UK (Merxwire) - According to the latest SDGs report of the United Nations, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in the world living below the poverty line has risen for the first time in 20 years, adding 120 million poor people. And women are more likely to fall into poverty than men, not only in money poverty but also in "period poverty."

Many disadvantaged groups of women around the world are experiencing "menstrual poverty" because they cannot afford sanitary products. Although these vulnerable and homeless people can receive food, water, and other materials from social welfare units, the physiological supplies they need every month are often neglected. Influenced by traditional concepts, menstruation represents a symbol of impurity, which makes it difficult for disadvantaged women to open their mouths.

According to statistics, the average British woman must spend 18,450 pounds on hygiene products in her lifetime, equivalent to 740,000 Taiwanese dollars. This money is not a small amount for anyone. Many women can't afford the high cost of hygiene products, so they can't go to school or miss job opportunities. In a vicious circle, they become more disadvantaged groups in the disadvantaged group.

All countries in the world are facing different degrees of menstrual poverty. About 1/3 of women in the world live in menstrual poverty. In developing countries, women often cannot afford sanitary pads because of poverty and reuse their family's old clothes or rags as sanitary pads. These unhygienic fabrics lead to reproductive or urinary tract infections that affect women's health. Girls with disabilities are even less able to obtain appropriate physiological supplies, which is a hygiene need and a human rights and dignity issue.

Many cities have started offering free sanitary pads to help economically disadvantaged women live in dignity. (Photo via unsplash.com)

European and American countries are moving fast. Scotland has directly enacted legislation to allow girls in need to receive free sanitary products at schools or public institutions, becoming the first country to implement free, hygienic products. England has also stopped taxing physiological effects from January this year. Canada, Australia, and other countries have also abolished the taxation system of physiological consequences so that many women no longer feel pressured by the cost of "menstruation."

Coincidentally, Taiwan, which has always been at the forefront of gender equality, will also select 20 of the most popular MRT stations in the Shuangbei MRT from November 1 this year to provide free female physiological products. In addition, Asia, Japan, South Korea, and other places have also launched plans to provide free sanitary pads and "menstrual leave" so that women in need can rest at home on particular days every month.

The SDG5 goal of the United Nations aims to achieve gender equality. Women's physiological products are as everyday and essential as toilet paper. When everyone starts to take it seriously, the problem of "menstrual poverty" will have a chance to be solved.

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