Bestaat menstruatie armoede in Nederland?

Does period poverty exist in the Netherlands?

Period poverty is when someone has too little money to buy period products. I had never heard of this before I started using menstruation underwear. A pack of home brand tampons is very cheap, right? But I soon came across studies and articles that unfortunately confirm that this exists worldwide, but also in the Netherlands. And that the group is larger than we think.

Bregje Hofstede published one article about this in the Correspondent. Research had already been conducted in Great Britain and the Netherlands by Plan Nederland. They investigated it again by talking to 170 women from approximately 50 organizations together with Feminist platform De Bovengrondse. Below I quote from her article:

“First: Yes, you can get sanitary towels for one euro per pack. But whether that is 'expensive' depends on your wallet. If you live below the poverty line, or are in debt restructuring and have to live on 50 euros a week, period products are sometimes indeed too expensive.”

The poverty that emerges from the testimonies is distressing. Unfortunately, poverty is also a major problem in the Netherlands, which also affects this intimate and vulnerable point: menstruation. We spoke to women who used old newspapers or the diapers of their small children. A few sometimes stayed at home to 'let the blood run'.

At the Food Bank, sanitary towels are 'very popular' and 'immediately available'

For example, we spoke to women who had to cut back on food, such as fruit and vegetables. "I can then buy less food for my child, which I think is very bad," said a 45-year-old woman. A manager at the Utrecht Food Bank said that sanitary towels are not often included in the packages. But that it is 'very popular', 'and immediately available' as soon as it is available. 'We are screaming about sanitary towels and tampons!'

Poverty is the basic problem, but I hope that this exploratory research will bring a hidden aspect of poverty into discussion. Namely, how poverty affects vulnerable girls and women extra every month.

A colleague of Bregje indicated that when she was young she had to pay for her period products with her pocket money and that the subject was not discussed at all at home. That is less exceptional than you would hope.

In Plan International's research, 19 percent of girls and women surveyed between the ages of 12 and 25 indicated that menstruation is not discussed within their family. Nearly 48 percent feel 'dirty' when they have their period.

But Bregje's research and that of Plan International show something else: period poverty stems from a lack of money, but also a lack of knowledge and openness about menstruation. Still not all girls know what happens to them when they get their first period.

In short: yes, period poverty exists. in the Netherlands too.

Bregje's article inspired us to give back to girls and women who live below the poverty line, because this has such an impact on their lives every month. We have made contact with De Sociale Kruidenier (DSK), which is part of the Food Bank in Amsterdam where they sell non-food products for a minimal amount and also engage in discussions over the coffee table if people need it.

Moodies donate 5% of all sales pants at De Sociale Grocer and we sometimes ask our customers to make a voluntary contribution to increase the number of pants we can give away. Because this is unfortunately still so necessary.

We realize that this is a drop in the ocean, but I also think that every drop counts and every person we help receives a package of pants and is therefore provided for in the coming years. We will let you know on our site how many pairs of pants we have donated. Check out a contribution about this Moodies first delivery of the pants .

When you purchase our pants you help reduce period poverty in the Netherlands!


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