The report by the charity surveyed 1000 girls and found 49% of girls missed a whole day of school because of having their period. With 68% admitting they couldn’t fully concentrate in class with the worry of not having access to the toilet or suitable sanitary wear. Over half of the girls said they were embarrassed and afraid of the stigma of asking for help.

Tanya Barron Plan International’s Chief Executive says, ‘As a society we obsessively euphemise, belittle and silence menstruation.' She goes on to say, “As a global girls’ rights charity we know that pervading cultural taboos and lack of education around periods can have a damaging impact on the lives of girls both here in the UK and across the world, exposing them to discrimination and preventing them from fulfilling their potential.”

Embarrassed to ask for help.

One in ten girls were said to improvise with items such as socks, newspapers or toilet roll.

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According to the report, many girls have had to borrow from a friend with a rising number of girls having to change to a less suitable product due to the cost.

Foodbank charities such as the Trussell Trust are reporting that low-income families are frequently asking for items such as tampons and sanitary towels as they couldn’t afford them, and many were reluctant or ashamed to ask for them in the first place.

The taboo of menstruation.

In 2017 there is still a taboo surrounding talking about menstruation, with people still feeling embarrassed or squeamish when it is discussed. There is a distinct lack of education regarding the physical, social and personal aspects of periods in which Plan International UK want the school curriculum to cover. They want to promote an open dialogue on the subject by allowing teenage girls free access to the toilets during lesson time.

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Their survey found 59% of girls would rather make up an excuse than admit they are on their period.

The charity Freedom4Girls has donated sanitary products to countries such as Kenya and now they find themselves being asked to help those in the UK. They were contacted by teachers in Leeds who were concerned that pupils were missing out on their education because they could not afford sanitary items, with some even providing some out of their own pocket.

A petition launched by the Fourth Wave: London Feminist Activists has snowballed to reach over 111k signatures will be delivered to the Education Secretary #Justine Greening, demanding free sanitary items in schools. Justine Greening has commented on the debate saying that schools and parents should pay for them, even though 20% of the academic year is missed due to period poverty.

Labour set pledge 10 million pounds.

The word is getting out, and the Labour Party have pledged #10 Million pounds to schools to help make period poverty extinct if they form the next government. Labour MSP Monica Lennon has launched a consolation on a member’s bill for everyone to have access to the ‘basic right’ of sanitary items.

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Scotland is currently offering free sanitary products in schools on a trial basis.

Leading manufacturing giants Bodyform have also pledged support, and are trying to break the stigma by releasing the first sanitary towel advert with blood-like liquid rather than the blue that has traditionally been used.

With the UK being one the world’s wealthiest countries, it is surprising that the statistics show that some of the most vulnerable cannot afford sanitary items which should be a basic necessity available to all.