Data matters. We are marking our third year by releasing our Amsterdam Menstruates study, Amsterdam’s first-ever quantitative research on period poverty. Studying the issue is a necessary step toward tackling gender inequity. From September 15 to October 19, our research partner Opinium collected data from people who menstruate in Amsterdam. 

Policy-makers and anyone interested can now review robust data analyzed by Opinium’s researchers. The results confirm what we have been talking about ever since we began: that period poverty is a very real, growing issue in the city, and not only among those living at or below the poverty line. As we said in our 2021 campaign – just because you can’t see period poverty, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

Some key findings from our Amsterdam Menstruates research

In Amsterdam over the last year, 27% of people who menstruate have been unable to afford to pay for period products at some point. 38% say they have managed to pay but found it difficult to do so.  

Over three in five of the people who could not afford, struggled to afford, or struggled to access period products have had to resort to alternatives to their usual period products. Of these, half resorted to using toilet paper. Among those aged 12-17 who have struggled to afford in the last 12 months, the rate jumps to 70%. One in ten used other paper products, such as tissues or newspapers, while one in fourteen used pieces of fabric during their period.

Nearly all those struggling to or unable to afford period products in the last 12 months (89%) have taken alternative measures to be able to buy essential menstrual products. Most commonly, over a third (38%) had to cut back their spending on groceries. Over a quarter (27%) cut back spending on household products, and over a fifth cut back on health products (22%). In order to free up room in their budget, another 11% cut back on school supplies.

People who menstruate have no choice in the matter, they must have period products. It’s that simple. Because periods don’t stop, not for pandemics or poverty. And as we noted in the report:

amsterdam menstruates period poverty study 2022

So how do we address this matter of equality, dignity and public health? Click on the pdf below to dive into our full report, for a closer look at the data and our recommendations for the next, necessary steps. We have also prepared a brief downloadable 2-pager with all essential highlights.

Download full Amsterdam Menstruates report