Schoolgirls take an average of three days off per term due to period-related problems. The poll commissioned by hygiene services provider PHS Group said that girls are likely to skip school for reasons caused by periods than fever, cold, flu or being truants. According to a new study, nearly half of the 1,000 teenage girls questioned during the survey in the United Kingdom said that period poverty stopped them from doing good in academics. A third believe that it stops them from achieving their dreams, while five percent said that they missed one week per term due to their period. Nepali Woman Dies after Spending Night in a 'Menstruation Hut', Second Such Incident in a Month.
According to the study, out of the 52 per cent of girls who said they miss school due to their menstrual cycle, nearly one in 10 said it was because they could not afford or access sanitary products. While 14 per cent said that they preferred to stay home during periods as they were not comfortable talking to the school staff about the uneasiness. Even though the recent government addressed the issue of period poverty, half of the respondents believed that the issue was not taken seriously. Guy Thinks Women Don't Get Periods at Night Because The Body Shuts Down, Woman's Tweet Goes Viral.
More than 75 per cent of the girls said that they would be embarrassed to bring up the topic or ask for sanitary products to a male teacher. More than 25 per cent said that they would not be comfortable discussing the issue with a female teacher either. According to the survey, a third of the girls said that in the past 12 months, either they or somebody they knew had been affected by period poverty. Indian Railways Delivers Sanitary Napkin to Female Passenger On Train After Man's Tweet.
Around one in 10 had worn something other than sanitary products. One percent admitted to having to steal due to lack of resources. In March, the government had pledged to give away free sanitary products in secondary schools by 2020. However, a fifth of the respondents said that they did not have access to free sanitary products. And nearly one in 10 said they knew they had access to free products at their school, but not sure where to get them. Indonesian Teenagers Go Low to Get High! Boil Used Sanitary Pads and Drink to Get Intoxicated!
Amika George, a 19-year-old student, who founded the Free Periods campaign in 2017 said, "This research is absolutely vital in helping us to understand just how prolific and damaging period poverty in the UK. The government’s recent pledge to provide funding for free period products in all schools will make a real difference for those children who have been struggling to afford to manage their period, and I really look forward to seeing the positive impact of that from early next year."
She added saying, "Yet, it’s clear from this research that much more needs to be done in terms of education, and helping children to feel that their periods don’t need to hold them back. We need to open up the conversation around menstruation because it’s clear that stigma is still a huge issue and we have to find new and creative ways to tackle that."