Stop Period Poverty In Ireland
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Periods are an inconvenient reality for women, between the hassle, the mess, the cramps, the hormones; it’s safe to say we approach them each month with a bit of a groan.
However, for some of us periods represent a much bigger problem and are an ongoing cause of stress, with half of young Irish women admitting they struggle to afford adequate sanitary protection every month.
Scotland became the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products to women from low income households in 2017, and in August this year they are also set to become the first national government to make sanitary products available to those at school, college or university.
In a poll of nearly 5000 RSVP Live readers, a staggering 94% stated that women in Ireland should also be provided with free feminine hygiene products.
RSVP believe Ireland should provide free sanitary products to women from low income households and are going to call on the Irish Government to make sanitary products freely available in Ireland.
With this in mind we would ask you to join our petition to call on the Government to get on board by signing our petition here.
Figures from Plan International Ireland show that nearly 50% of young women in Ireland, between, 12-19 years struggle to afford sanitary products every month, with more than 1 in 10 admitting they often have to improvise with toilet roll or something else when they cannot afford to buy pads or tampons.
In Ireland, brand name sanitary products are priced between €2-€6 a pack while a pack of pain relief tablets will typically cost around €4, added to this is the cost of soiled underwear, and that’s just your basic needs. When you factor in the added costs on food and other toiletries at that time of the month, a British survey, (conducted by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk ), estimated that with the average woman menstruating 450 times, the total cost of a period during a female’s lifetime worked out at a whopping £18,450/€20,905.
Commenting on the RSVP survey, one reader Danielle noted: “We should definitely be given something, I spend €70 a month on me and my daughter and my youngest is six and she will need products and I just don't know how I will afford products for the three of us.”
Another reader Sarah added: “It’s not just girls, we should think about those who suffer from fibroids, endometriosis it's very costly. Normal sanitary towels, menstrual cups, reusable products aren't sufficient. It's necessary to use incontinence pads which are very costly but the only way to avoid embarrassment.”
And speaking from her own experiences, Julie told us: "I've bought cheaper brands and I leak even changing my tampon regularly. I have a heavier flow and have been prescribed medication to lighten the flow of blood but that makes it last longer than usual. I can go through a whole box on my cycle and often have to buy double each time.And honest to god on my wages, I'd be lucky if I had that in my purse at the end of a good week. That's without getting my medication or other pain relief because they don't take the pain away.
And for the homeless women in Ireland, the situation is even worse, as not only do they lack the means to afford adequate sanitary protection, but more often than not they do not have access so basic facilities like regular showers.
It’s more than clear that this is an issue for women around the country, so the question is when are the government going to do something about it.
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