Menstruation is particularly difficult for homeless women. Along with the everyday struggle of finding food, shelter, and basic resources, during menstruation, they also face the challenge of getting sanitary pads and the privacy to change them. Without access to menstrual hygiene products, periods can be devastating time for women experiencing homelessness.
Menstruation as a topic is shrouded in stigma in many communities around the world. The taboo associated with it causes women to face difficulty in talking about it or about their rights to access to hygienic menstrual products.
How would it be if you did not have the money to buy sanitary pads? Imagine not knowing if you would have access to a bathroom during menstruation. What if you had to choose between buying pads and food?
Well, these are not scenarios anyone should ever have to face. But still, this is the harsh reality for countless women on the streets.
Homeless Women and Menstruation Challenges
Let’s look at how menstruation during homelessness leaves women extremely vulnerable and puts them at risk of many undesirable consequences.
On average feminine hygiene products costs about $20 per cycle. The homeless shelters are barely able to provide them to the women in need. They are forced to make use of public restroom toilet paper, or other assembled paper products to create makeshift pads. It puts them at risk of urinary tract infections and yeast infections.
If they get pads or tampons, they tend to overuse them which can lead to deadly toxic shock syndrome. Reusable feminine hygiene products are not ideal for them as they do not have the means to wash and sanitize them for every use.
A Battle for Dignity
The consequences of period poverty are far-reaching. Homeless women who cannot afford menstrual products may resort to shoplifting in desperation for a shred of dignity. It is a shame for society as a whole, for someone to get a criminal record for something as basic as sanitary pads.
A natural bodily process like menstruation should not be the source of shame and embarrassment. At Promise Hill Project, we recognize women’s need for access to basic menstrual products to lead a dignified and healthy life.
Through our Basic Needs Program, we strive to meet the basic needs of people like food, clothing, shelter, period products, etc. Please contribute to the cause by donating menstrual products and feminine hygiene products for the homeless to help them live lives of dignity.
At Promise Hill Project, we are committed to helping the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society for a better future. Your contribution can make a world of difference in the lives of homeless women.
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