Flow-flation: menstruators struggling with the increase cost of living
People who menstruate are grappling with the rising cost of living and this impacts their ability to afford period products, especially those who experience period poverty. According to a report released in March 2023 by Women and Gender Equality Canada, one in five people who menstruate indicate they may struggle to afford period products over the next year.
Inflation began in mid 2021 and increased to its fastest pace in four decades. By fall 2022, nearly half Canadians stated they were concerned with their household’s ability to afford housing or rent, and one in four Canadians said they were unable to cover an unexpected expense of $500. Inflation remains persistently high today and according to Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index, the cost of personal care items like tampons and pads are up 6.2% compared to last year.
Inflation has exacerbated period poverty, making the situation more dire for those already experiencing it. In an interview with Global News, Meryl Wharton, president of Allan Gardens Food Bank, shared that a client needed pads for her three daughters. The Food Bank could only give her six pads and she cut them in half in an effort to prolong the usage.
This is the stark reality people face where wages and earnings are not increasing at a rate to keep up with the growing prices of food and shelter. As the cost of living continues to rise across the country, advocates share that many people who menstruate are unwittingly choosing between feeding their families and buying menstrual products.Wondering how you can help ensure that those who menstruate have adequate access to period products? Visit The Period Purse to find more information on donating.