Period Poverty

What Is Period Poverty?

The answer to the question “what is period poverty” is fairly self-explanatory, but there are far-reaching implications that may not immediately come to mind. According to Medical news Today, period poverty is “a lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management or any combination of these.”[1] Although this is a widespread problem, even in the United States, there is not a lot of research on it.

Current studies show that women experiencing period poverty also experience higher rates of depression.[2] This is also likely due to the fact that poverty itself leads to a higher incidence of depression, but the correlation is there. Menstrual poverty leads to more mental health issues, like fear, shame and embarrassment about the body and its functions, and more.

For many women and girls, monthly menstruation means having to miss work and school since they cannot focus or do their tasks as effectively. They get uncomfortable, distracted and self-conscious worrying about menstrual leakage and odor. This impacts them and their families economically,[3] perpetuating the cycle of poverty and preventing them from pursuing the best-proven ways to break it. Women who can’t afford menstrual products use rags or toilet paper, or they use a legitimate period product much longer than intended, which leads to greater risks of infection and disease,[4] which, in turn, causes even more missed school and work.

GFA World is passionate about meeting people’s physical needs and showing God’s love through compassionate care. This includes addressing period poverty in areas with especially high instances of menstrual poverty. We work to build sanitation facilities to properly dispose of human waste.[5] We also bring clean water to communities through wells and filters for drinking and hygiene. GFA missionaries also educate families and villages on how to use the facilities and care for themselves through hand-washing, teeth brushing, period care, and dropping the incidence of various diseases.[6] Our medical ministry works to treat the diseases already present and prevent future ones.

Please join us in this effort to address period poverty around the world. It prevents girls from going to school and women from working, which makes it even harder to escape poverty’s grip. Donating to GFA or sponsoring a child helps people and shows them God’s love as our missionaries meet these physical needs with products, toilets, clean water and education.

Consider joining GFA in this effort to end period poverty around the world. Donating to clean water or proper toilets makes a world of difference to these girls and women. Our compassionate workers show them the love of God through their care, giving them hope for the future by making sure they can attend school and work to break the cycle of poverty.

Learn more about period poverty

[1] Geng, Caitlin. “What to Know about Period Poverty?” Medical News Today. September 16, 2021.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “Outdoor Toilet.” GFA World. Accessed November 30, 2022.
[6] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed November 29, 2022.