Period poverty in Sweden: One out of Five can’t afford menstrual protection

3 min read

Closing in on Menstrual Hygiene Day we’ve conducted a survey in Sweden. The results are in and they are shocking. 1 in 5 menstruating women could not afford menstrual protection on one or more occasions in the past year and among teenagers, the unemployed and those on medical leave, the numbers are even higher.

Period poverty is a major global challenge affecting menstruating girls, women and non-binaries worldwide. Period poverty is about the lack of menstrual protection, safe, hygienic spaces to use these, as well as the right to manage one’s menstruation without shame or stigma. In many parts of the world, this is a huge challenge, preventing kids and youth from education and adults from work and a decent life.

During May, we teamed up with the Swedish Facebook-group Pink Room to conduct a survey to investigate how many swedes who, on one or more occasions in the past year, have not been able to afford menstrual protection. And the results are shocking.

Every second person unemployed or on medical leave cannot afford menstrual protection

The survey set out to investigate how many menstruating women or non-binaries of different ages and with different occupations have experienced not being able to afford menstrual protection at some point during the past year. The overall result shows that as many as 21% of the respondents on at least one occasion, or more, could not afford to buy menstrual protection. Out of these, 41% have experienced that this has negatively affected their mental health, 29% have said that it has prevented them from maintaining health-promoting habits and 15% felt forced to stay home from school or work due to the lack of menstrual protection.

Among teenagers between 13-17 years the problem is even more widespread as 1 in 3 (33%) answer that they could not afford menstrual protection on one or more occasions in the past year. Affected the worst, however, are the unemployed and those on medical leave. Almost every second respondent (45% respectively 44.5%) stated that they could not afford menstrual protection.

Menstrual cups to single moms that struggles economically

As you may know by now, we are teaming up with some amazing NGO’s to make a difference big or small. In Sweden, we are collaborating with Barn till Ensamma Mammor who are doing amazing work supporting single mothers and kids living economic or social vulnerability. Barn till Ensamma Mammor are providing free activities for children of all ages and education and support for moms. Since they started in 2007 they have helped thousands of families from all backgrounds, ethnicities and ages.

For every menstrual cup sold in Sweden right now, we’ll be donating one to struggling single moms and their teenage daughters within the Barn till Ensamma Mammor project. So save yourself the cost of 10 years of disposable menstrual protection (yeah, a Intimina cup will last for up to 10 years!) and give a fighting mom the same economic relief!

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