A housing association in Leeds is doing its bit to tackle period poverty by donating much-needed sanitary products to local foodbanks.
Tenants and staff at Leeds & Yorkshire Housing Association (LYHA) have been buying sanitary wear to donate to Trussell Trust foodbanks to help local women and girls who struggle to afford the products.
In the UK, sanitary products are currently classed as luxury, non-essential items, and are therefore taxed, making them unaffordable to many.
However, there are many charities, organisations and individuals currently campaigning to alleviate period poverty. These include The Trussell Trust, The Red Box Project, Freedom 4 Girls and the Girl Guides.
“We are delighted to support this important campaign and I’d like to thank our staff and customers for their generous donations,” said Mark Pearson, LYHA’s chief executive. “We have worked with The Trussell Trust in Leeds for a number of years and they do fantastic work in helping supporting individuals and communities struggling with poverty in this region.”
Once thought of as a problem only affecting women in lower-income countries, period poverty is being increasingly recognised as a significant problem in the UK.
The latest research from children’s charity, Plan International UK, reports that one in 10 young women (aged 14 – 21) in Britain has been unable to afford period products and up to 7% have been forced to miss school because of this.
“I’m thrilled that Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association has joined us in the council and voluntary sector in fighting, so all girls and women have access to sanitary protection,” said Councillor Hannah Bithell, from Leeds City Council, who is an advocate for tackling period poverty.
“I look forward to the day when no girls and women have to resort to the use of rags and socks during menstruation so that they can have a life without poverty induced humiliation.”