In the UK, over 1.2 million girls and young women have missed school due to period poverty. If a girl misses school every time she has her period, she is then 145 days behindher fellow male students.

  • 10% of girls have been unable to afford menstrual products
  • 15% of girls have struggled to afford menstrual products
  • 14% of girls had had to ask to borrow menstrual products from a friend due to affordability issues
  • 40% of girls in the UK have used toilet roll because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.
    • Other improvisations have included socks.
  • 19% of girls have used less suitable menstrual products due to cost
  • 48% of girls are embarrassed by their periods
  • 71% of girls admitted to being embarrassed when buying menstrual products
  • Only 22% of girls feel comfortable talking about their period with a teacher
  • 49% of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period
    • 59% of which made up a lie or an excuse
  • 64% of girls have missed a sports/PE lesson because of their period
    • 52% of which made up a lie or an excuse
  • 68% of girls said they felt less able to pay attention in school whilst menstruating
  • Women will spend approximately £18,000 over their lifetime on menstruation products (average of £13 per month)

As austerity hits our most vulnerable the hardest, and families are having to cutback further and further, menstrual products become an unattainable luxury to many. Additionally, we’re still paying a 5% VAT as they’re deemed a ‘luxury item’, yet Jaffa Cakes are considered essential and remained untaxed. This is a sexist levy that upholds the taboo around periods.

The Hendon Labour Women’s Network are working within the local community with supermarkets and businesses to provide free menstruation products for our local schools.

For more information about how you can get involved, check out the Red Box Project Hendon Facebook page.

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