UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has unveiled a £2 million fund to tackle “period poverty” around the world.
According to the Department for International Development (Dfid) around half of women and girls in developing countries cannot afford sanitary products and are forced to use rags, grass and paper to manage their periods.
The stigma that surrounds periods can force women and girls to miss school or work and even be banished to isolated huts during their periods.
This practice in Nepal, despite being outlawed, has seen girls and women die – often from smoke inhalation as they light fires to keep warm in the windowless huts.
The £2m fund, unveiled ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, will be shared among organisations already working to tackle period poverty in low and middle income countries.
Dfid has also announced a task force, which will include government departments as well as manufacturers, retailers and charities, to help tackle period poverty in the UK – an issue highlighted by campaigners such as Amika George, who first raised the problem as a 17-year-old schoolgirl.