With the debate over the taxation of sanitary products raging on here in the UK, we cast our eye on the issue of sanitary products in the rest of the world, and in particular third world countries, where even basics such as clean drinking water can be difficult to come by.
In many countries, Menstruation is thought of in a confused and stigmatised manner. According to Dignity Period, which is an American charity whose principle aim is to change the way that menstruation is perceived said: “This stems from lack of awareness and education about the basics of menstruation. For example, due to the widely held belief in parts of India that menstruation makes women “impure,” women and girls on their periods are not allowed to take on household tasks like cooking, nor are they allowed to be in public spaces or sometimes, even in their own homes.
In the most extreme examples, women and girls on their period must wait out the time in isolation, in a hut at the edge of their villages. In rural Nepal, a similar practice occurs, where women are not allowed in their homes for fear that the gods will become angry and put a curse on the home and family leading to illness and problems. This practice is illegal according to Nepali law but is still practiced in remote areas.”
Due to complex economic issues, sanitary, and other essential items are not at the top of their government’s main priorities.
Needless to say, there are millions of women across the world, who live below the poverty line, and can’t afford basic sanitary products. This can cause a myriad of distressing complications such as missing days of work and can heavily affect the ability to escape the poverty which they find themselves in. And in the time of an emergency, this is even more pronounced.
Thankfully, there is something that YOU can do, and it starts with OXFAM.
Their Survival Kits are marvellous products, which for a small cost of just £15, provides families with the essentials that we take for granted, including much needed sanitary products.
What’s more, these are giftable items, OXFAM’S web site describes how this product has helped one family in the past:
“When a cyclone hit the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, Gideon’s family was made homeless, along with many of their neighbours. But Oxfam was there, helping people keep healthy. The cyclone blew the roof off Gideon’s home – and the family fled with only the clothes on their backs. But the Oxfam kit he received, full of hygiene essentials like toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary towels, soap, and washcloths meant he and his family were able to stay clean and healthy until they were able to get back on their feet.”
If you can afford to support OXFAM in this way, please do… Click here to do your bit!