Being an unhoused menstruator presents a unique set of challenges that often go unnoticed in discussions surrounding homelessness. This article aims to shed light on the complexities of Period Poverty and its intersection with homelessness, questioning the efficacy of conventional solutions while advocating for systemic changes to address this overlooked issue. How do homeless women deal with periods? Let’s explore.
The Challenges of Homelessness for Women
According to data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, homeless women typically accounted for around 30% of the total homeless population in the United States.
Unhoused women confront heightened dangers due to their vulnerable circumstances. These risks include:
- Increased violence
- Limited access to safe shelter
- Health vulnerabilities
- Exposure to the elements
- Gender discrimination
With difficulties in maintaining hygiene, they face increased health risks. The cycle of homelessness is perpetuated by societal stigma, making it challenging to access support services. Mental health issues and susceptibility to human trafficking further exacerbate their predicament.
How do Homeless Women Deal with Periods?
Homeless women navigate their menstrual cycles with limited resources and access. Many rely on shelters or charitable organizations for menstrual products, but the availability may be inconsistent.
Improvisation becomes common in the absence of proper facilities, resulting in many unhoused women using makeshift materials like tissues or socks. However, these improvised solutions pose hygiene risks and can lead to serious health issues.
Some women may resort to prioritizing other necessities over menstrual products due to financial constraints, further exacerbating the challenges. The lack of privacy and cleanliness in public spaces adds to the difficulties.
Period Poverty and Homelessness
Unhoused individuals face challenges in accessing menstrual products, exacerbating hygiene concerns and impacting overall well-being. The lack of proper menstrual hygiene can contribute to a loss of dignity and negatively impact mental health.