he Lost Food Project (TLFP) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) with the support of Watsons, is helping to end period poverty for underprivileged girls in Malaysia. The one-year programme will bring relief to almost 300 girls living in 16 charity homes across the Klang Valley starting this month.
What is period poverty?
Period poverty is defined as being too poor to afford sanitary products. It’s a secret suffering for many girls all over the world, contributing to the menstrual inequality. This problem often goes undetected as menstruation is not something talked about openly in many societies, let alone debated on in parliament. There’s no data on sufferers in this country but in the United Kingdom it is estimated to affect one in 10 young women between the ages of 14 to 21.
The reason food banks get involved is the simple fact that “if you can’t afford food, you can’t afford menstrual products”. Delivering surplus products that will make a difference in the lives of marginalised society is an extension of The Lost Food Project’s surplus food programme.
Removing the trauma of period poverty is a way to help level the playing field for girls. Period poverty is part of a deeper issue of gender inequality and basic rights. Having access to period products help ensure basic dignity for girls and their rights to education, health and freedom.
“Period poverty affects 1.2 billion girls around the world who are forced to skip school when they menstruate. Missing up to 25% of school time has dire consequences on exam outcomes, and potential careers. Girls fall behind and will often drop out of school as a result,” says Suzanne Mooney, TLFP founder.
“I am delighted Proctor & Gamble is partnering with TLFP to tackle this devastating issue that affects many young girls in Malaysia.
“The #LikeAGirl campaign means that over the next 12 months, every single teenage girl in our charities will receive high quality sanitary protection from the brand Whisper. This opportunity will allow our young charity partners to be able to go to school during this vulnerable time of the month.”
According to P&G, for over 30 years, the company has been committed to be a force for good and a force for growth in Malaysia. “Through our global portfolio of leading innovative brands we are committed to touch and improve people’s lives across the world.
“As part of our citizenship efforts in the region, we are proud to bring our global #LikeAGirl campaign for the first time to Malaysia via our Whisper brand and in partnership with The Lost Food Project.
The #LikeAGirl campaign was launched in 2014 to help stop the drop in confidence that girls worldwide experience at puberty. This drop in confidence is accelerated during the girl’s period preventing them from participating in classroom and extracurricular activities and in many cases missing school.
“Whisper believes that every girl should have access to period protection. This is critical for girls to continue their normal activity during their period and protect their confidence as they grow up as the women of the future.”
The joint campaign is enabled by Whisper’s #LikeAGirl campaign in Malaysia last November where for every pack of Whisper purchased at Watsons and liked to their social media posts, P&G pledged to donate menstrual protection products for girls living in orphanages through The Lost Food Project.
P&G will be donating over 100,000 sanitary pads and say they are excited about the partnership with TLFP.
“Since the start of their operations in Malaysia, The Lost Food Project team has provided a strong impact for the underprivileged with focus on rescuing surplus food and providing meals to people in need.
“We are truly excited to collaborate with them to distribute personal care products starting with Whisper and are really hopeful that this is just the beginning of a sustainable partnership for us together to be a force for good and growth in this country,” says P&G in a statement.