You may think of your period as nothing more than a monthly nuisance, or maybe it passes you by without much thought. But for some women, both in the UK and around the world, their period is far more complicated due to the fact that they cannot afford to buy period products like tampons to use while they are bleeding.
Period poverty has recently come into light in the UK, after children's charity, Plan International UK, revealed that one in 10 young women (aged 14-21), and one in seven in London, could not afford to buy their own period products, and in many cases, causing them to miss school on a regular basis. When conflated with the issue of tampon tax, there's a lot of controversy surrounding the price and availability of period products.
Here are all your options for period products so you can make an empowered choice
There are lots of things we can all do to help the thousands of women who are struggling and show you give a f*ck about period poverty.
1. Buy your own products from brands that give back
Some brands donate a percentage of their revenue to charities that work to alleviate period poverty or directly provide schools with period products to give to their female students.
Sanitary pad brand Always donates millions of pads to the cause, and tampon subscription brand Pink Parcel has set up an initiative whereby subscribers can send back their unused products and the brand will donate them to local charity partners.
2. Donate to charity
Since it was revealed that so many young women experienced period poverty, a plethora of charities both globally and locally have been set up, all fighting to provide relief and end period poverty once and for all.
The Homeless Period offers free sanitary products to homeless women, The Red Box Project donates products to local schools, and Freedom4Girls provides young women in Kenya with period products and education.
3. Go on marches
Get involved in local activism to show your support for the cause and go on one of the organised marches or book into one of the supporting events. For news on the latest events, check out Bloody Good Period or Free Period.
4. Sign petitions
There are a number of petitions currently open that are asking parliament to address the issue and take steps to end period poverty.
Free Periods founder, Amika George, started one advocating free period productsfor all children who receive free meals, which currently has over 250,000 signatures.
5. Raise awareness
Don't stay silent - now that you're aware of the issue and what to do about it, start spreading the word and rallying the troops. Make sure you use all the hashtags on Twitter (#periodpoverty and #freeperiods are the main ones), and educate your mates and your family on the issue. We're all in this together.
6. Donate period products
You can donate period products at your local food banks or your local Trussell Trust centre and there are often drop off points within the bigger supermarkets. Alongside this, make a conscious effort to donate a spare pad or box of tampons to homeless women you may pass in your daily life.
7. Educate yourself
Always strive to learn more about the cause - listening to different people's experiences and understanding what needs to be done to make a difference.
Scarlett Curtis, curator of Feminists Don't Wear Pink, will be at the Glamour Beauty Festival in conversation with fellow activists Gina Martin and singer, Raye.
8. Follow Scarlett Curtis and Amika George on Instagram
Follow these two period poverty activists will not only inspire you and empower you, but they will also keep you up to date on the latest news and developments surrounding the subject.
Read our full activism feature in GLAMOUR's SS19 issue, out now.