Period is a normal and a healthy part of life and yet girls and women all over the world go through extreme struggles to manage their period every month. Every month girls and women need to buy tampons and other period products to secure or safe themselves. But for some girls and women buying such products is very difficult because these period products are so expensive that normally they can not be bought by girls and women. Governments take taxes from such period products. Countries like Pakistan, India, Uganda and many other countries in Africa use ordinary clothes instead of period products.
The National Family Health Survey 2015-2016 estimated that in India about 121 million girls and women use local or commercial products. Same in Pakistan the period product almost costs 250-500 which is out of the family income.
But do you know using clothes in period is so harmful. If a girl or woman does not have access to period products then the issue can increase chances of contracting cervical cancer, hepatitis B, reproductive tract infection, urinary tract infection and other various types of yeast infection.
In Uganda when a girl has her period in school then it is very hard to manage things due to poor hygiene and lack of privacy. A report showed that almost two-third (16%) of Ugandan girls miss at least a day of school every year. Because they have to wait till their periods end. The period products are so expensive that they cannot afford sanitary pads and other period products. In Uganda, period poverty is also considered a big issue, some of girls do not get access to such products or period. The girls opt to do two things first they have to sit at home or second, they have to use unhygienic, uncomfortable materials such as Stone and dry banana leaves to protect her clothes and continue the school. This is so horrible.
On the other side a good news is that a well-developed Nation like Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all. MSP Monica Lennon (by labour MSP) introduced a historical bill to make it easy for all girls and women to get free accessory on period products. She said, “ periods don’t stop for pandemic and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusable has never been more important”. Since 2016 She has been campaigning to end the period of poverty.
Every government has to follow the example of Scotland and make sure no woman has stress about her basic health every month. Because every woman in this world deserves period dignity.