End Period Poverty: How to support women in period poverty in Ireland

There has been uproar after a Tampax ad was removed from Irish television after 84 complaints were made to the ASAI against the ad.

People claimed that the Tampax “tampons and tea” advert was offensive, which couldn’t be further from the truth, however, the ASAI understood that the ad caused offence, but stressed that it did not demean to women, contain sexual innuendo, or was unsuitable for children.

“The Committee noted the Code required that advertising should not cause grave or widespread offence. The Committee noted that the advertisement, although light-hearted in nature, provided factual information in a manner that was neither explicit nor graphic,” they stated.

Women have expressed their disappointment in their decision to stop running the ad. Twitter has been flooded with discussions about the importance of the advert and why we need to talk openly and normalise periods. They’re nothing to be ashamed of so why should we feel pressured to hide them like a big, dirty secret? 

One tweet that stood out came from Homeless Period Ireland, a phenomenal charity conducting life-changing work to help women and girls in period poverty in Ireland. An issue that is a lot more severe than many of us realise.

I’m sure we’ve all had that moment of dread when you’re out in public and your period decides to surprise you by making an unexpected appearance. You have no tampons or pads in your bag, but luckily there’s a pharmacy on practically every street in Ireland so all you have to do is pop in and pick up some supplies.

To many, it isn’t a major purchase, but to 50 percent of Irish women sanitary products are a mass expense. In a study conducted by Plan International, nearly 10 percent of participants admitted they have had no choice but to use a “less than suitable sanitary product” because of the cost.

There are girls as young as 12-years-old struggling to buy pads once a month, something that shouldn’t be happening in 2020.

Why don't we use our anger about the removal of the Tampax ad and do some good? There are so many things you can do to help tackle period poverty in Ireland, so make a difference today.


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1: Normalise periods

For years, women have been too ashamed to talk about their period, even though it’s a completely natural thing that nearly every woman will experience at some point in her life. We mutter phrases like, “I have my thing,” or “It’s just a girly problem,” as we avoid eye-contact and blush with embarrassment. It’s time for us to realise that simply saying: “I have my period,” is perfectly acceptable.

2: Make a donation to Homeless Period Ireland

The wonderful people at Homeless Period Ireland are trying their best to supply homeless women with sanitary products, however, they can’t do it without the public’s generosity. A packet of pads cost less than the iced white chocolate mocha you buy, so why not cut back on your daily jaunts to Starbucks and purchase some sanitary products with that money instead. There are numerous donation drop off points all around Ireland, including Cork, Limerick and Dublin. Follow them on Instagram for more information on where to donate.

3: Contact Local Politicians

Reach out to your local politicians and ask them to use their platforms to raise awareness about period poverty in Ireland. They have the the power and using their voice to spread this vital message can make a huge difference. Start by urging them to help make a difference in your local area and go from there! You can find your local TD here whoismytd.com.