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Cost of living crisis accelerates period poverty in the UK
According to a new study, one in five women (20%) has been unable to afford period products due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Research commissioned by global washroom hygiene services company Citron Hygiene found that women across the UK have had to seek alternative methods of accessing menstrual products over the last year, with many turning to family (62%), friends (55%) and employers (17%) for vital supplies.
The research also revealed that over three-fifths (62%) of women have cancelled or postponed plans due to a lack of products to manage their period.
Additionally, 82% of women say they would feel more valued as a customer if a business provided free period products. 71% would choose to spend their money at a business that provided free period products over one that didn't.
However, more than two-thirds (68%) of women either rarely or have never experienced free products provided in a bathroom away from home.
"The cost-of-living crisis is contributing to an increased demand for free and accessible period products, with more and more women experiencing the effects of period poverty,” says Robert Guice, chief executive at Citron Hygiene.
"Everyone should be able to access free period products in away-from-home washrooms when and where they need them.
“Businesses and schools can help ease menstruators' anxiety during these difficult times and ensure they can continue participating in normal life by making period products available to their washroom users. No person should be excluded from education, work or social activities because they are menstruating."
Citron Hygiene is partnered with Aunt Flow, a manufacturer of free-vend period product dispensers and period products, and is committed to advocating for period dignity and free-vend of period products in the UK. The washroom hygiene services provider now only offers a free-vend commercial period products dispenser with a restocking service to ensure that high-quality menstrual products are accessible to everyone who menstruates.
Both partners have also launched the 2023 Period Dignity Award with the Loo of the Year Awards. The Period Dignity Award will be open to applicants across the UK and the Republic of Ireland throughout 2023 and awarded in January 2024 at the Loo of the Year Awards.
Claire Coder, founder and CEO of Aunt Flow, adds: "We can compare period products to toilet paper; both are necessities. Period products are necessary because menstruation is a normal bodily function.
“Stocking period products in public washrooms is a small price for businesses to pay to ensure guests have an equitable and dignified experience. Working with Citron Hygiene, we're proud to support thousands of customers across the United States, UK, and Canada in joining the menstrual movement with Aunt Flow!"
2nd February 2023