National & International Sport Student Corner

Period poverty’ makes girls shun sport 

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Millions of young girls are forced to avoid after-school clubs and sports during their period – due to a lack of sanitary products, according to the Sunday Express.

Experts analysed the behaviour patterns of 500 girls, aged 10 to 18, found 26 per cent are avoiding many social situations as a direct result of period poverty. Lack of access to basic period products means one fifth of these youngsters are choosing not to go to friends’ houses or even see them, when on their period. A further 25 per cent will not visit the gym or participate in any sports when menstruating.

The research, by Always, revealed that 27 per cent of girls avoid going out altogether once-a-month, as they, or their parents, do not have enough money to buy period products.

Steph Houghton, captain of the England women’s football team,  said: “It’s really sad to hear that period poverty is not only affecting girls’ education, but it is also stopping them from taking part in the activities that they love.”

In addition to polling girls, a study of 1,500 women was also conducted to find out  that more than a fifth of women believe they have been held back due to not always being able to participate in extra-curricular past times.

In response to the research, Always and Tampax are donating products to after school clubs and UK Youth, a nationwide network of more than 3,500 youth organisations.

Ania Bielecka, senior communications manager at Always, added: “All girls should have access to the same opportunities in life and this includes extracurricular activities such as sport. 

“We hope this will give girls the freedom to take part in the activities that they love.”

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