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It’s the 15th of February 2023 and I am outside the Franprix in Nanterre, Sainte Geneviève. Franprix is a French urban supermarket chain (retail business). It is a subsidiary of the Casino Group.
In France, inflation hit 5.2% in one year, and not one supermarket aisle was spared. Today, with the rising costs of inflation, monthly expenses are only getting higher, making it even more difficult to be able to afford hygiene products. The money being spent on hygiene products for menstruation is a heavy financial burden for tens of thousands of women who already live in precarious conditions.
These expenses can constitute up to 5% of a woman’s total budget. Using a low estimate, this cost could amount to about 100 to 150 euros per year – or 10 euros for each menstruation cycle. 1 in 5 women in France would have used alternative hygienic protections for lack of financial means: these include toilet paper, tissues, or pieces of fabric.
“Period poverty” primarily affects:
- Unhoused people: For these women, the high cost of these products is coupled with the difficulty of accessing places of hygiene. The last INSEE study dating from 2012 estimates that there are at least 40,000 unhoused women affected by period poverty.
- Poor female students: According to a 2015 report, this corresponds to 270,000 female students in need.
- The most precarious,e. 1.6 million women between 13 and 51 years old.
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