The Nightmare for Homeless Women in the UK—Being Forced to Use Newspapers and Toilet Papers instead of Sanitary Products

No woman looks forward to getting her period. It can be painful, and a monthly nuisance when all your energy seems to be drained. Apart from that, they cost a fortune. In the UK, tampons are considered as a «luxury, non-essential» item, and are charged at a 5% tax rate. Exactly what about stanching the painful shedding of the vaginal lining makes tampons a luxury item is baffling. The average woman spends more than £18,000 on their periods— enough to buy a Tiffany ring and wedding band!

How this Affects the Homeless Women in UK

That said, it is easy to understand why the homeless women in the UK cannot afford tampons. Setting up a place for shelter and food can take away their chances of spending on «luxurious» items like tampons, and they have to resort to using alternatives like toilet papers and newspapers.

Being homeless, and not having access to one of the most essential items in feminine care not just a nuisance; it is a complete nightmare. Imagine not having a place to sleep, limited-to-none food supplies, and walking around scrabbling for tissues or newspapers to stem the flow of blood.

Because menstruating is such a personal problem, most homeless women refrain from asking around for help, and try to make do with whatever is available to them. If that is not enough, majority of the homeless services do not consider sanitary ware as an essential to be provided to homeless women. As a report from St. Mungo’s comments:

«Expecting women to simply fit into traditionally homelessness services which have been designed for homeless men is not good enough. Service providers must understand the particular needs of homeless women, how these differ from those of men and (re)design or (re)configure services accordingly.»

How Can You Make a Difference?

The Human Rights Watch has connected menstrual hygiene with human rights. The first step to helping the homeless women receive their human rights is to spread awareness about the problem. Until and unless the problem is considered as an issue to do something about, homeless women in the UK (about 12% of the homeless people in the streets of London are women) would be bereft of their basic rights.

The second step is to engage in positive steps that would allow homeless women access to sanitary ware. One example is to donate your money to non-profits that aim to provide women with the basic necessities. Or, you can take it up on your own shoulders to donate a box of organic tampons to a homeless woman in need by purchasing Organic Tampons. The Storehouse — Southend Vineyard, Southend Foodbank, and Harp are the three homeless shelters in Essex that receive 15 percent of the sales of the product in the form of tampons.

If you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint and helping fellow women who need sanitary ware, subscribe to Organic Tampons today!

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