Girls experiencing period poverty are missing out on extracurricular activities such as sports because they cannot afford period products, new research reveals.
A study among school girls was conducted by Always to understand what else, beyond their school education is missed by those experiencing period poverty.
Sadly, 31 per cent of girls say they have avoided out-of-school activities or sports as a direct result of period poverty, with 21 per cent saying they lack confidence because they don’t take part in such groups or clubs. One in four girls have found themselves in an embarrassing public situation due to their period with no means of getting the necessary protection, with 27 per cent refusing to leave the home altogether because they cannot afford period products.
The good news is that 48 per cent of girls who now have access to free period products at school, said it has enabled them to take part in activities which they would usually miss out on. Always in on a mission to ensure girls have access to period products, even out of term time so they can take part in the activities that they love.
Steph Houghton, Captain of the England women’s football team and Always #EndPeriodPoverty Ambassador, said: “It’s really sad to hear that period poverty is not only affecting girls’ education, but it is also stopping them from taking part in the activities that they love. It was in after-school clubs that I found football and being part of a squad really helped build my confidence, introduced me to a new group of friends and shaped my future.”
In addition to polling girls, a study of 1,500 adult women was also conducted to understand what impact attending clubs and out-of-school activities has later in life. It found more than a fifth of women believe they have been held back due to the fact they couldn’t always participate in extra-curricular past-times. 22 per cent believe they now lack teamwork skills because of this and three in 10 believe it affected their ability to socialise.
In contrast, those who were lucky enough to take part in out-of-school activities reaped the benefits. 43 per cent of women believe the skills they learnt in these clubs or groups, helped shape their career with half saying this has made them more confident as a person.
Always wants to ensure that girls have access to period products, even outside of term time so they can take part in the activities that help build their confidence and shape their future. The brand is partnering with UK Youth, a nationwide network of youth organisations that offer advice and training to support and inspire 1.5 million young people. For every pack of Always and Tampax purchased in participating retailers*, the brands will donate a product to UK Youth or an after school club.
Anna Smee, CEO of UK Youth said “A lot of the young women and girls who come through the doors of local community organisations in the UK Youth Movement struggle with confidence. When barriers like period poverty are removed, young people can focus on their personal development and education instead of worrying about how to get through each day. We are delighted to be partnering with Always on this initiative to support young women, enabling them to grow in confidence and have an increased sense of wellbeing.”
To further explore the consequences of period poverty, Always has enlisted the help of inspiring illustrators, to develop Insta-Art around the topic. For every like or comment made on these posts, the brand will donate a further product to UK Youth.
Follow @Always_uk_ireland on Instagram to find out more.
Further Key Findings
- 25% of girls won’t visit the gym or participate in any sports when menstruating
- 26% of girls avoid social situations because they cannot afford period products
- 60% of girls with access to free period products at school have needed to use this supply
- 38% of women who took part in after school activities said they have continued this hobby into adult life
- 38% of women who took part in after school activities said they still know the friends they met there
For further information, please visit https://www.always.co.uk/endperiodpoverty