What is it about?

This article provides new understanding of the phenomenon of 'period poverty' and how it is experienced by women from low-income households in a city in the West Midlands. An inability to afford period products is experienced as embarrassing, causing considerable distress and anxiety arising from the need to keep menstruation hidden to avoid social disclosure and stigma.

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Why is it important?

This was the first piece of empirical research exploring this topic conducted in the UK, where growing numbers of women and girls from low-income households are struggling to afford period products.


It's my fervent belief that everyone who menstruates deserves to have a comfortable and dignified period. I therefore hope this article helps to raise awareness of the growing issue of 'period poverty' in a wealthy country in the affluent Global North and that it offers those who read it the chance to gain insight into the significant distress and embarrassment experienced by those who struggle to afford period products. I further hope that it may inspire other researchers to conduct 'sensitive' research because too often experiences such as these are hidden and need to be illuminated and talked about.

Alison Briggs
University of Manchester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: ‘Period poverty’ in Stoke-on-Trent, UK: new insights into gendered poverty and the lived experiences of austerity, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, January 2020, Policy Press, DOI: 10.1332/175982720x16050132762411.
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