Publication - 26 May 2023

A Tough Period: Global report

How the global polycrisis is creating a hidden menstrual health crisis, impacting the ability of young people to manage their periods safely and with dignity.

In over one-third of countries globally, the cost of living crisis has been exacerbated by conflict, political instability, climate change and acute food insecurity, culminating in a so-called “poly-crisis” and forcing almost 350 million people to flee from their homes.

Drawing on data from 168 specialists across 44 country offices and four regional hubs, this report explores the impacts of the polycrisis on the ability of adolescent girls and others who menstruate to pay for menstrual hygiene products (such as sanitary pads) and to access water to stay clean during their periods, their coping strategies and the range of protection risks that poor menstrual health management is exposing them to.

It highlights the urgent need for the right to safe and dignified menstrual health and hygiene management to be made explicit and to be placed at the heart of humanitarian policy, practice and funding.

You can access read our interactive report summary.

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