Updated: Nov 20
Welcome to a crucial conversation on Period Poverty, a silent struggle impacting women globally. Join us as we delve into the depths of this issue and explore how Freedom Voice Report is catalyzing change.
by Ayesha Khan
Period poverty is a pervasive issue affecting women and girls globally, transcending geographical and socioeconomic boundaries. In conservative societies like Pakistan and even in developed nations like Canada, women face significant challenges due to a lack of access to menstrual products. This issue is exacerbated by the associated taboos, hindering education on feminine hygiene and perpetuating the belief that periods are shameful. The consequences are dire, leading to makeshift solutions, increased health risks, and economic implications, as women may face stigma in workplaces, affecting their job opportunities and attendance.
Empowering Change: Freedom Voice Report's Mission
Freedom Voice Report, a nonprofit organization, is on a mission to combat period poverty and its associated stigmas. Our multifaceted approach includes fundraising for and distributing proper menstrual products to women in need. Additionally, we focus on education by organizing campaigns, workshops, and lectures to break the silence around menstrual health. Fighting for better, clean, and private restrooms is crucial to eliminating the shame associated with periods. Collaborating with global organizations and encouraging collective action strengthens our advocacy, urging governments to implement policies and services for impoverished women.
Understanding Period Poverty: A Silent Struggle Worldwide
The alarming facts and statistics surrounding period poverty highlight the urgency of our mission. UNICEF reports that in South Asia, one in three girls lacks basic knowledge about menstruation. In Canada, a 2023 government survey reveals that 17-25% of Canadians have experienced period poverty, with 20% unsure of affording products in the next 12 months. The Canadian Public Health Association estimates that an average woman spends around $6,000 on menstrual products in her lifetime. Shockingly, one in five Canadians believes menstruation should not be discussed publicly, emphasizing the prevailing stigma.
A Personal Journey: Breaking the Silence
A decade ago, during a visit to Pakistan, a personal revelation unfolded. The female servants in my mother's family, struggling with low incomes, survived on makeshift solutions due to the unaffordability of sanitary pads. Witnessing their gratitude when provided with pads, distributed in secrecy to avoid shame, fueled my commitment to ensuring every woman has access to these basic necessities. This personal connection underscores the urgency and impact of combating period poverty on an individual level.
Take Action Now: Support the Fight Against Period Poverty
The call to action is clear. Support Freedom Voice Report in its mission to reduce global injustices for women and girls. Your tax-deductible donations can fund women hygiene kits, education campaigns, and vital volunteering services. By engaging with our cause, you contribute to raising awareness about period poverty and creating a more equitable world for women. Advocate for affordable menstrual hygiene products, educate yourself, and stand in solidarity to eradicate the stigma surrounding periods. Together, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of countless women and girls worldwide.
About the Author
A student in the University of Calgary pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Law and Society with future aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Her passion is to alleviate global injustices suffered by women and children, and is committed to working towards their individual betterment.