Period Poverty

How Can We Address the Period Poverty Definition?

The period poverty definition according to the American Medical Women’s Association, is when women have “…inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education, includes but not limited to sanitary products, washing facilities and waste management.”[1] Many women across the world, an estimated 500 million, fall into this category.[2]

A study done by the Global Menstrual Collective states that in order to have complete menstrual health, women need the following:

  • access to information about menstruation, life changes and hygiene practices
  • the ability to care for themselves during menstruation
  • access to water, sanitation and hygiene services
  • the ability to receive a diagnosis for menstrual cycle disorders and access to healthcare a positive and supportive environment in which to make informed decisions
  • the ability to participate in all aspects of life like work and school.[3]

Even in the United States, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, 35 states tax period products, and food stamps don’t cover them, meaning it is difficult for many women to afford menstrual products.[4] The problem is more severe in impoverished nations; there are many countries in the world where even the most basic of these points—like clean water, toilets and healthcare—are out of reach, so period poverty continues.

Several organizations, including GFA World, are working to end it. We bring toilets, clean water, healthcare and education about these things to people in need. It costs on average around $540 to install an outdoor toilet for a family or village, providing sanitary and proper disposal of waste.[5]

To provide clean water, GFA uses local labor to drill up to 600 feet deep or more for Jesus Wells, reaching water far below. Each well is only $1400 and can serve an average of 300 people daily for ten to twenty years; that works out to just around $5 a person. Then, GFA’s BioSand water filters cost only $30 to provide a family with water that has 98 percent of the disease-causing impurities removed.[6]

GFA also provides free healthcare to those in need through medical camps. At these camps, GFA’s doctors and medical staff typically serve 200 to 1,000 individuals in the world’s remotest areas.[7]

Finally, GFA missionaries always educate people on the proper use of their new facilities and proper medical practices, teaching how to wash hands, brush teeth, use the toilets and wells and practice proper period hygiene.

Each of these ministries requires money, resources and personnel to carry them out. Consider partnering with GFA as we address each of these issues, which, in turn, helps address period poverty. Even a small donation can make a major impact in addressing period poverty around the world.

Learn more about period poverty

[1] Alvarez, Alexandra. “Period Poverty.” American Medical Women’s Association. October 31, 2019.
[2] “What to know about period poverty.” Medical News Today. September 16, 2021.
[3] Geng, Caitlin. “What to Know about Period Poverty?” Medical News Today. September 16, 2021.
[4] Alvarez, Alexandra. “Period Poverty.” American Medical Women’s Association. October 31, 2019.
[5] “Outdoor Toilet.” GFA World. Accessed November 30, 2022.
[6] “Clean Water.” GFA World. Accessed November 30, 2022.
[7] “Monthly Prayer Focus: Pray for GFA World’s Medical Ministry.” GFA World. Accessed November 30, 2022.