From the moment a girl hits puberty she is hit with the cost of pads/tampons. Periods are unavoidable, most women have periods but of course, there is the small percentage who do not get periods either every month or at all for reasons such as birth control, irregular periods, and pregnancy. A lot of us women can relate when it comes to the periods we have and the pain and uncomfortableness that we feel during it. Imagine not being able to afford necessities such as pads/tampons, your uncomfortableness only triples, and most of the time it is not even your fault.
No one should ever have to worry about if they are able to afford menstrual products because of how pricey they are. Zina Zumok in the article, “Should tampons be free; Why are feminine products so expensive?” explains how the cost of tampons is a major problem for low-income women who sometimes may not be able to afford these products. “About half of the women said they had to choose between buying food or feminine products at some point in the year.” It’s just a problem overall and especially for homeless women who have no source of income. Think about the things these women will have to resort to when running low on these products if they were even able to get their hands on some. Things like using a pad or tampon longer than its intended use can have bad outcomes such as a visit to the hospital. Imagine the struggle they deal with and how it will be if there is a medical bill on top of that.
There are a lot of things that are necessities but of course, are not free, not only are products like this not free but they are also expensive. Period products are things that you must buy often but so are things like toilet paper and diapers. If one thing is free why shouldn’t this or that be free, people may ask. What if all these products were free? In the article “Women Forced to Choose Between Food and Menstrual Products”, Depaul’s Center states that ‘”1 in 5 girls have missed school or left early because they did not have access to a tampon or a sanitary pad.” If necessary, products such as menstrual products were free, we would not have girls missing school because of an issue such as this one.
Scotland is one of the few places where legislation was passed to make these products free. Period poverty is real and there needs to be a change done. Almost everyone has a mother, sister, friend, teacher, etc., that goes through their monthly period, meaning that everyone has someone who can explain to them how expensive pads and tampons are. Sure, some may be able to afford these products easily, but what about those who cannot?
We need to bring more awareness to this and shine a light on those who are barely able to afford these products and to those who may not ever be able to afford the products. No one should ever have to decide if they should buy food or a pad. In the article, “Menstrual Products should be free Period” by a youth advisory council member named Christina Vo, she says “The fact that easily accessible menstrual products, pads, and tampons, in every girl and gender-neutral bathrooms on campus has not been made into a mandatory law on each state is only contributing to the period poverty at schools and creating even more stigma around the idea that people have a monthly period.” No girl should miss out on their education because they did not have a product to help them not bleed through their clothes. Period poverty needs to come to an end so that we can all live our lives knowing that the girl who missed school for a few days to a week because of her period now never misses a day, and so we know that girl did buy the ingredients to make her food instead of starving just to prevent bleeding through her underwear.