Used fabrics, rags, newspapers… ten key figures to understand menstrual poverty

Used fabrics, rags, newspapers... ten key figures to understand menstrual poverty

Le coût de l'hygiène menstruelle serait comparable à celui d'une voiture, neuve ou d'occasion, selon plusieurs estimations. LaylaBird/Getty Images

Break the many taboos around periods at school, at work, and more broadly in society, and fight against menstrual poverty which affects several hundred million girls and women around the world. These are two of the objectives of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, organized every May 28 in a nod to the average length of menstrual cycles and periods.

This is an opportunity to look back in figures on the lack of access to menstrual protection, a source of stigma and major health problems.

One in four women affected

A report from Plan International, an NGO that works to advance children's rights and equality between girls and boys, estimates that more than 500 million girls and women around the world are in a situation of menstrual precariousness. This means more precisely that one in four menstruating girls or women cannot access products and equipment considered essential, which can have serious consequences on physical and mental health, but not only.

Newspapers, rags, used fabrics

Plan International Australia looked at the consequences of humanitarian crises on menstrual poverty through a study carried out with 168 experts working alongside women and girls in 48 national and regional offices. the NGO in the countries of the South. More than half of the respondents (51.6%)reported the use of makeshift materials, such as used fabrics or rags, to compensate for the lack of periodic protection, and more than #39; a fifth (22.9%) indicate that "adolescent girls engage in survival sexual activities to be able to afford menstrual health products".

The cost of a car

There is no official data on the cost of menstrual hygiene, but several estimates compare this average cost to that of a new or old car. ;#39;opportunity depending on the calculations. In France, a report published by the National Assembly estimates between 8,000 to 23,000 eurosthe budget allocated to periods by a woman throughout her life. A cost which is based on an average of five days of menstruation per month, at the rate of five menstrual protection products per day, over a period of 38 years, and takes into account "the renewal of underwear and bed linen , as well as the possible purchase of painkillers and check-up visits to a gynecologist.

A study carried out by Plan International Australia estimates an average of $10,000the expenditure allocated by a woman during her life for menstrual products, without taking into account possible treatments for pain. In the United Kingdom, a survey relayed by HuffPost puts this budget at 18,450 pounds sterling (around 21,700 euros), including periodic protection, painkillers, and the renewal of underwear. In any case, these figures show to what extent these expenses can weigh on the budgets of millions of women around the world.

An impact on schooling

A report published in 2014 by Unesco notes a lack of facilities in schools which can lead to school absenteeism for girls who menstruate, while specifying that It is difficult to accurately establish a link between absenteeism and menstruation. The fact remains that numerous studies, notably carried out in India or in certain African countries, demonstrate the impact of menstrual precariousness and the lack of equipment on the schooling of girls, that' #39;this concerns absenteeism or dropping out of school. A figure could also support this assertion: Unicef ​​indicates that one school in three does not have "adequate toilets& ;quot; around the world, and that 23% of schools do not have toilets. Something that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manage good menstrual hygiene.

What about France ?

France is not spared from menstrual poverty, since nearly 4 million menstruating women aged between 18 and 50 were affected in France in 2023, according to a survey carried out by OpinionWay for the Règles Elémentaires association. A figure that has doubled in just two years. If menstrual poverty particularly affects young women aged 18 to 24 and single mothers, all generations and situations combined, these are more than 2.6 million women in France who were forced to give up buying periodic protection at least once for financial reasons in 2023. And the inflationary context could make things worse, since the survey reveals that more than # 39;1.2 million French women thought they could find themselves in a situation of menstrual precariousness in the next twelve months.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(function(d,s){d.getElementById("licnt2061").src= ";r"+escape(d.referrer)+ ((typeof(s)=="undefined")?"":";s"+s.width+"*"+s.height+"*"+ (s.colorDepth?s.colorDepth:s.pixelDepth))+";u"+escape(d.URL)+ ";h"+escape(d.title.substring(0,150))+";"+Math.random()}) (document,screen)