Poverty, Periods and Staying in School

Providing period supplies reduces stress, provides confidence and dignity for young women.

We all probably have one: that embarrassing moment from our middle or high school days that turned our faces red and left us with emotional scars. While we can make light of how hard this phase of life is, it’s important to recognize the ways we can change this and support youth struggling in today’s societies.

This week we celebrate the United Nation’s International Youth Day (August 12) and align with the organization’s 2018 theme: Safe Spaces for Youth.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision-making processes and freely express themselves,” the website explains. “While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth.”

At Jake’s Diapers, we recognize there are unique barriers to entry in these safe places that might be often overlooked. To be blunt, things like pads and tampons.

Let’s face it, middle and high school are not as easy as is – and then girls get their period. There, unfortunately, is a negative stigma around menstruation, and not having adequate supplies can make a young woman feel embarrassed or anxious about leaking.

Period supplies, like diapers, are an often overlooked necessity that people living in poverty struggle to afford. In our country, 12.7% of the population nationwide is living at or below the recognized poverty level – yet the programs are not in place to ensure adequate supply. Period products cannot be obtained with SNAP or WIC benefits, and many people simply do not think of the need when making in-kind donations to local organizations.

The need is ongoing, every month a woman living in poverty is faced with difficult decisions on how to spend a limited income. Meeting her basic need for period supplies can help restore her dignity and confidence as she lifts herself out of poverty.

With period supplies available, she can have the confidence to go to school, work, sports, and so on — without feeling anxious or embarrassed.

So this week, let’s spread awareness to recognize the importance of providing access to period products for girls and women of all ages – so they can go with confidence to their safe space, and grow with dignity in our society.

Learn more about International Youth Day.

Donate to support Jake’s Diapers.

#youthday #safespaces4youth