Many different charities are providing women in developing countries with sanitary products, however even young girls in developed countries like England are unable to afford these products.
The Guardian reports that girls from low-income families in England are struggling to afford pads and tampons, and that teachers are buying these supplies or seeking help from charities and voluntary groups.
In fact, a local school contacted a charity in Leeds called Freedom4Girls about the situation. The charity provides sanitary products for women in Kenya, and the school asked if they could do the same for local girls - they agreed.
Hayley Smith, founder of Flow Aid, a charity which was also contacted by a local school, told The Guardian that the fact that this is an issue is 'despicable'.
“Teenagers and young girls are being forced to wrap or stuff toilet paper down their knickers, to prevent them from bleeding all over themselves while at schools. The cost of sanitary products are just too much for some girls and their families, and it’s leading to missing school and it’s putting their health at risk.”
“It’s absolutely despicable in the 21st century that girls are being forced to comprise their education simply because an absolute necessity is unavailable and not affordable.”
Metro also reports that Rosy Candlin, from Every Month, a campaign that is aiming to bring sanitary products to homeless shelters in Manchester says that some girls are using socks in their underwear because they can't afford sanitary pads.
Freedom4Girls has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for research around the country on this issue.
Last year, UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that the government would abolish the tampon tax, which categorised tampons as a 'luxury item'. This 'luxury item' status was particularly strange given that men's razors were considered 'essential items'.
In Australia, the tampon tax still exists, while items like condoms and sunscreen are considered 'essential items'.
You can sign a petition to #stopthetampontax here.