Period Poverty

What Are Some Period Poverty Statistics?

The period poverty statistics around the world paint a grim picture of an issue that needs immediate attention. Research has determined about 500 million women suffer from period poverty all over the world, including in the United States.

About 16.9 million women are living in poverty in America. As of June 2019, 35 states have a tax on menstrual products—as much as a 9.9% tax in Louisiana—making them even more difficult to afford. Two-thirds of American women with a low income could not afford period products in 2020, and nearly half of those women sometimes had to choose between buying food and buying menstrual products.[1]

If the impact of period poverty is so great in the wealthy nation of America, one can only imagine the difficulties of women in the world’s impoverished nations. A study in Bangladesh showed that 73% of women there miss an average of six days of work a month, which has a major economic impact on them and their families. A lack of hygienic facilities in the workplace led to 13.8 million absences of women in the Philippines, and 1.5 million women’s workday absences in Vietnam.

According to a 2019 report, there are high percentages of women in African countries who do not use sanitary pads during their periods: 17% of women in Kinshasa, 14% of women in Kenya, 10% of women in Ghana, 41% of women in Ethiopia, 37% of women in Nigeria and 36% of women in Uganda.[2] UNICEF surveyed women in Kenya about what they used instead of sanitary pads, and their answers were things like pieces of blanket, chicken feathers, old rags, newspapers and mud.[3] Women in other African nations likely use similar substitutes, leaving them at higher risk of infections like UTIs, bacterial vaginosis and even toxic shock syndrome.[4]

GFA World is working to lessen the overwhelming numbers in these statistics by providing sanitation facilities in the form of outdoor toilets, clean water from Jesus wells and water filters and education on proper hygiene practices.

Join this effort by donating money toward one of these ministries or sponsoring a child to help make sure that little girls get the care and education they need to thrive instead of being stuck in poverty’s cycle and period poverty. Just $35 a month sets up a child for life,[5] but any amount donated helps GFA continue its life-changing ministries that show the world the love of Christ.

Learn more about period poverty

[1] Geng, Caitlin. “What to Know about Period Poverty?” Medical News Today. September 16, 2021.
[2] Tull, Kerina. “Period poverty impact on the economic empowerment of women.” University of Leeds Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development. January 23, 2019.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Geng, Caitlin. “What to Know about Period Poverty?” Medical News Today. September 16, 2021.
[5] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed November 30, 2022.