7 ways to prevent young people from losing confidence because of their periods | Good Everyday

7 ways to prevent young people from losing confidence because of their periods

Always and Plan International Canada’s “Let’s Talk Periods” report sheds new light on menstrual health and hygiene in Canada.

Periods are too often a source of shame, fear and embarrassment for young Canadians. The new report reveals that 83% of young people in Canada who menstruate (aged 13‐21) have tried to hide the fact they are on their period and 50% have lied about it.

Read on to see more key findings and to learn what you can do to help.

Talking about periods is taboo. Yet it can help young people feel more confident.

Canada ranks in the bottom half of countries surveyed in terms of society’s support of talking openly about periods. In fact, Canadians feel more comfortable talking openly about sex or politics (49%) than about periods (46%).

How to help:

  • Talk about periods. On top of helping young people feel more supported, open communication around periods will help raise awareness of issues surrounding menstrual health and hygiene, so that they can be better addressed.

Teasing and shaming is common.

More than two in five young people aged 13‐21 have been teased or shamed because of their period. And, while nearly one in four believe period jokes are harmless fun, they’re causing young people to feel self-conscious, embarrassed and less confident.

How to help:

  • Take a stand against period shaming. If you see or hear someone getting shamed or making an inappropriate joke, help that person understand the negative impact they may be having.

There is a low level of understanding about periods.

One in four young people don’t know why some people get periods and how to manage them. So it’s no surprise that over one in three young people who menstruate don’t feel prepared for their first period.

Unfortunately, the COVID‐19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue. Nearly one in five feel like they’ve learned less about puberty and periods due to school closures.

How to help:

  • Get smart about periods and share your knowledge. You can access free resources at always.com.
  • Be a champion for menstrual health and hygiene education in your community. If you don’t think your local school or community group is teaching kids enough about puberty, encourage them to do more. You can point them in the direction of free educational resources from Always if needed.

Access to period products continues to be an issue in Canada, especially given the impact of COVID‐19:

Research shows that lack of access to period products causes young people to miss school and confidence‐building activities, as well as having a negative behavioral and emotional impact. In Canada, nearly one in seven girls have missed school because they didn’t have access to period products. And the COVID‐19 pandemic is only making things worse, with one in seven people worried about their ongoing ability to afford period products.

Provincial governments have started to introduce measures to help address the lack of access to period products, but more needs to be done to end period poverty.

How to help:

  • Join us in supporting Always #EndPeriodPoverty. Select this as your cause and then take a survey, scan a receipt or donate points to help make period protection more accessible to those who need it
  • Learn more about government policies and actions to improve access and get involved.