When we talk about problems related to our periods, we might start with the obvious: cramps, acne flare ups, changes in mood. However, period problems around the world reveal a reality in which something as natural as menstruation affects the lives of many, beyond its clinical side effects. From lack of access to affordable menstrual products to overall stigmatization, the way we talk about period problems needs to extend to those whose health and well-being is most at stake.
Let’s start with the good news: There are already plenty of organizations dedicated to menstrual product access, working both to make sure people who have periods have the products they need and destigmatize the conversation on periods overall. WomenStrong International is one of those organizations working to support women around world. As a group of nonprofits focused on women-driven solutions, WomenStrong International works to make menstrual products and better reproductive health education a reality for everyone. Their mission focuses on six essential needs: health, safety, shelter, education, economic empowerment, and urban environment. Lack of access to basic necessities, like period products, affects each of these six needs. In turn, making sure people have access to menstrual products has a positive effect on people’s lives beyond the basic, health-related purpose these products serve.
One of the biggest problems with the way we talk about periods is the fact that we often don’t talk about them. If base level conversations about periods are deemed taboo, trying to address these more dire problems related to them becomes even more difficult. The first step to solving a problem is understanding it. You can get educated with these seven statistics below that show the reality of period problems around the world. Then, consider donating to WomenStrong or find out how you can support any organizations working to solve these period problems around the world.