A Gen Z problem? Inflation in Australia hurting younger menstruating women more as they can’t afford pads, tampons
The most hit population are those born after 1997 or the Generation Z. As many as 64 per cent of the Gen Z population reported that they are finding it more difficult to cover the costs of menstrual hygiene products like pads, tampons and menstrual cups
Australia’s inflation and cost-of-living crisis is causing a menstrual health crisis in the country with many women not being able to afford menstrual products like sanitary pads and tampons.
A survey conducted by Plan International Australia found that 57 per cent of 517 menstruating adults born before 1980 find it more difficult to pay for period products.
However, the most hit populations are those born after 1997 or Generation Z. As many as 64 per cent of the Gen Z population reported that they are finding it more difficult to cover the costs of menstrual hygiene products like pads, tampons and menstrual cups.
Meanwhile, people with income below $50,000 a year find it particularly difficult to afford painkillers and menstrual management medication. Some 47 per cent of these said that their inability to buy these products is affecting their mental health and 16 per cent of the Gen Zs said it is impacting their education.
The Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Australia Susanne Legena said, “It’s a fixed cost for women and girls that you can’t avoid, so you’re very beholden to the market in that way. It’s a cost that [women and girls] bear that boys and men don’t have.”
She added, “At the heart of this, there’s still so much stigma attached to women bleeding. It’s not something we talk about very freely, it’s not talked about widely in popular culture, it doesn’t fit well with some of the stereotypes of femininity.”
Triggering a health complication debate, one in five women said that they do not change single-use products that often anymore to cut costs.
Australia’s cost of living crisis
According to the latest data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released earlier this month, all households in the country have experienced a jump in annual living costs in the March 2023 quarter.
The head of prices statistics at ABS said, “Living costs for employee households recorded the largest annual rise of all household types, at 9.6 per cent; the largest increase since this series started in 1999.”
“The last time the CPI recorded an annual increase of 9.6 per cent was in 1986,” she added.
The Living Cost Indexes include parameters like mortgage interest charges.
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