In the Western world, the ease with which women can manage their periods can often be taken for granted.
From organic cotton tampons to THINX underwear, we have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to our monthly flows. But, in countries around the world, from India to Uganda, sanitary products can prove too expensive or unattainable, while periods are often taboo.
According to a global survey, 73 per cent of women “sometimes or always” hide their periods from others, while 68 percent of women are afraid to talk about their periods with their romantic partners. Lack of clean water, sanitary products, or even access to restrooms can make periods difficult for women to navigate or even speak about. One in nine people do not have clean water close to home, while one in three lack access to a decent toilet, reports the non-profit WaterAid.
In Australia, period poverty is a real issue. The Quicky spoke with Rochelle Courtenay from Share The Dignity on why Aussie girls are missing school because of their period.
Without these services, menstruation can affect women’s health and involvement in social and economic life, such as young girls dropping out of school.
“When I am on my period, I stop playing soccer or any other sporting activities,” says 19-year-old Doris of Zambia.
“I can’t run or play games with my friends.” Doris uses lint cotton for her periods, which can prove itchy and scarce in the rainy seasons.
Despite millions of women menstruating each month, too often governments ignore how lack of clean water and sanitary products can negatively impact women’s health, economic and social wellbeing. Battling the stigma that continues to surround periods, women around the world look for their own solutions around disposal, pricing, health, and comfort. In a new photo gallery from WaterAid, poignant photographs highlight the varied ways in which women around the world manage their periods.
WaterAid is an organization that works to equip people with clean water and decent toilets. Founded in 1981, WaterAid approaches the clean water crisis by establishing locally-based field offices around-the-world that work to bring clean water to communities while also petitioning key decision makers in government to support this vital cause. Since its founding, the non-profit has empowered more than 25 million people with clean water as it continues to push for an end to the world’s water crisis.
Ever wondered what happens when a woman living in a third-world country gets her period? Find out in the video below, post continues after video.