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Meeting one’s basic needs—food, water, and shelter—is the necessary foundation for health and well-being. Menstrual hygiene is also considered a basic need. Women and girls around the world have significant unmet menstrual health needs, including the inability to access safe, clean facilities and affordable menstrual products.

  • Period poverty, defined as a lack of access to menstrual products, hygiene facilities, waste management, and education affects many women all over the world, causing physical, mental, and emotional difficulties.
  • In the United States, 16.9 million menstruating women live in poverty.
  • In the previous year, two-thirds of the 16.9 million low-income women in the United States could not afford menstrual products, with half having to choose between menstrual products and food.
  • Period poverty had been experienced by 14.2% of college-menstruating people in the United States in the previous year.
  • Menstrual products, education, and sanitation face social, cultural, economic, and political barriers. Period poverty has also been linked to health issues such as depression and urinary tract infections.

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