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What is Period Poverty?

Period poverty is a global crisis that robs millions of women, girls, and people who menstruate of
their basic human rights. It’s not just about the inability to afford pads and tampons – it’s about
the shame, stigma, and lack of education surrounding menstruation. When you can’t access safe
menstrual products or proper sanitation facilities, it becomes nearly impossible to manage your
period with dignity.
Imagine the fear and embarrassment of leaking through your clothes because you couldn’t afford
a pad. Or the frustration of missing school or work because you didn’t have the resources to
manage your period safely. This is the harsh reality for far too many people around the world.
Period poverty perpetuates the cycle of poverty by limiting educational and economic
opportunities. It’s a complex issue rooted in gender inequality, lack of resources, and outdated
cultural taboos

Why Should We Care About Period Poverty?

Understanding and addressing period poverty is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, access to
menstrual products is a basic human right, and everyone deserves to manage their menstruation
with dignity. Lack of access to these products can lead to severe consequences, including health issues, social isolation, and missed educational or work opportunities. Period poverty
disproportionately affects low-income individuals, exacerbating existing inequalities and
hindering their ability to participate fully in daily life.

The Harsh Realities of Period Poverty

When individuals cannot afford or access menstrual products, they often resort to using
unhygienic alternatives, such as rags, leaves, or newspapers. This not only increases the risk of
infections and reproductive health issues but also leads to social isolation and missed educational
opportunities. Many girls are forced to skip school during their periods, leading to higher dropout
rates and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

The Emotional Toll of Period Poverty

The emotional impact of period poverty cannot be overstated. Imagine the shame,
embarrassment, and fear of leakage that comes with using inadequate menstrual products. Many
girls and women face stigma, teasing, and even bullying due to menstruation, further
exacerbating their mental health struggles

The Harsh Statistics

According to a study by the Indian Medical Association, only 12% of the 336 million
menstruating girls and women in India use sanitary napkins. The remaining 88% resort to unsafe
alternatives, putting their health at risk. In rural India, the situation is even more dire, with only
48% of girls and women having access to menstrual products

Overcoming Period Poverty: A Global Effort

Fortunately, some countries have taken significant steps to address period poverty. In 2018,
Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to all students. In
India, the government has launched initiatives like the Menstrual Hygiene Scheme, which aims
to improve access to menstrual products in rural areas.
At Flawsome, we believe that access to menstrual products is a fundamental human right. That’s
why we will be launching Utsav, a brand that uses profits from Flawsome to create affordable
and accessible sanitary pads for those in need. By working together, we can break the silence
surrounding menstruation and ensure that no one has to face the challenges of period poverty


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