More than a quarter of young girls in Britain are avoiding social situations because of period poverty, according to shock findings.
Experts analysing the behaviour patterns of 500 girls found 26 per cent of those aged 10 to 18 are missing after-school clubs and sports during their ‘time of the month’ due to a lack of sanitary products.
Lack of access to basic period products means that of these youngsters, one fifth are choosing not to go to friends’ houses or even see them when on their period.
A further 25 per cent won’t visit the gym or participate in any sports when menstruating.
Sadly, the research by Always revealed that 27 per cent of girls avoid going out altogether once a month, as either they or their parents don’t have enough money to buy period products.
One in four have also found themselves in an embarrassing situation publicly because of their period, but had no means to get themselves the necessary products.
‘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,’ said Steph Houghton, captain of the England women’s football team and Always Ambassador.
‘It was in after-school clubs that I found football and being part of a squad really helped build my confidence, introduced me to a new group of friends and shaped my future.’
However, the study found that 48 per cent of girls who have had some access to free period products while at school believe they have been able to take part in activities such as sports, which would have otherwise not been an option for them.
And six in 10 girls with access to free sanitary protection have at some point used the supply available to them.
‘All girls should have access to the same opportunities in life and this includes extracurricular activities such as sport,’ said Ania Bielecka, senior communications manager at Always.
‘The brand is committed to helping end period poverty which is why for every pack of Always or Tampax purchased in participating retailers, we will donate a period product to after school clubs and youth groups across the country.
‘We hope this will give girls the freedom to take part in the activities that they love.’