New Study by U by Kotex® Shows 35% Increase in Period Poverty Since 2018

New research highlights prevalence and economic impact of COVID-19 and period poverty in the U.S. ahead of Period Poverty Awareness Week May 24 - 30, 2021

NEENAH, Wis., May 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new study conducted by U by Kotex®, research shows that two in five people have struggled to purchase period products1, a 35% increase from the brand's initial research in 2018. Earlier data inspired U by Kotex to become the founding sponsor of the Alliance for Period Supplies in 2018 to support those affected by period poverty. The new data is being released to help elevate Period Poverty Awareness Week (May 24May 30, 2021), an initiative created by the Alliance for Period Supplies to educate others on period poverty and the impact it has on those in need of menstrual supplies.   

"Period poverty is causing a tremendous physical and emotional impact on women in need, and the need has significantly grown over the last year," said Rebecca Dunphey, Kimberly-Clark North America Personal Care President. "In partnership with the Alliance for Period Supplies, U by Kotex is committed to shining a light on the magnitude of this issue and supporting individuals who lack access to period products."

The study also uncovered how period poverty is disproportionately impacting Black and Latina people, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 on the issue:

  • A quarter of Black (23%) and Latina (24%) people with periods strongly agree that they've struggled to afford period products in the past year.2
  • 27% of all respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to access period products, with two-thirds (65%) of those who have struggled stating they lacked access because they could not afford them.3
  • Over one-third (38%) of low-income women report missing work, school or similar events due to lack of access to period supplies.3
  • Nearly seven in ten (68%) people agree that period poverty is a public health issue, yet only 4% of Americans are aware of a local resource where free or reduced cost period supplies are available.3

"We can end period poverty in the U.S. by increasing awareness of the issue, expanding community-based programs that help people in need, and advocating for changes in public policy," said Jennifer Gaines, Program Director at the Alliance for Period Supplies. "With the support of U by Kotex and our network of more than 110 nonprofit programs nationwide, we are making a difference in the lives of  people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those who continue to struggle to afford the basic necessities they require to thrive. We encourage communities, organizations, companies and policy makers to join with us, donate to an allied partner, host a virtual product drive, and tell others about the impact period poverty has here in the U.S. This study shows that our work is far from over."

Since U by Kotex became the founding sponsor of the Alliance for Period Supplies, the brand has donated more than 41 million period products to the Alliance for Period Supplies and its network of community-based nonprofits. In recognition of Period Poverty Awareness Week and the increased need brought to light by this research, U by Kotex is committing an additional $25,000 this year to support the Alliance for Period Supplies. The donation will fund ten grants to BIPOC-led period supply programs.

Furthering its efforts, U by Kotex is also proud to announce its sponsorship of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL), an organization aimed at empowering and inspiring elected women to become thought leaders who shape America's future. Together with the Alliance for Period Supplies, U by Kotex is providing educational resources to NFWL members and hosting product donation drive events in select markets throughout the year with the intent to increase education of period poverty and access to menstrual products. U by Kotex will match product donations up to 20,000 period products at each event.

Period Poverty Awareness Week also encompasses Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, a day created to break the taboos surrounding periods and highlight the movement on a global scale.  

For more information and ways to support the Alliance for Period Supplies, visit UbyKotex.com or join the conversation online using the hashtags #WithUSheCan, #EndPeriodPoverty and #PPAW21.

About U by Kotex®
Kimberly-Clark created the feminine care category with the launch of the Kotex brand more than 100 years ago. Now, U by Kotex®, a full line of feminine care pads, liners and tampons, continues to push category boundaries. By providing outstanding protection and unique design, the brand brings women a better feminine care experience overall.

About Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Viva and WypAll, hold the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build stronger communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 147-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Alliance for Period Supplies
The Alliance for Period Supplies is an initiative of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN)—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that leads a nationwide movement aimed at helping individuals and families who struggle to afford material basic needs. Launched in May 2018, with the support of founding sponsor U by Kotex, the Alliance for Period Supplies raises national awareness of period poverty (#periodpoverty) and supports the development and expansion of period supply programs in communities throughout the country. The organization is comprised of Allied Programs that collect, warehouse and distribute menstrual/period supplies in local communities. More information on Alliance for Period Supplies is available at allianceforperiodsupplies.org, and on Twitter (@AllianceForPeriodSupplies) and Facebook (facebook.com/AllianceForPeriodSupplies)

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1 Within their lifetimes, due to lack of income, According to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov
2 In the past year, According to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov
3 According to a 2021 U by Kotex survey conducted with YouGov

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