Women in Gaza Lack Access to Menstrual Supplies

The crisis in Gaza has been catastrophic for all aspects of life, including women’s menstrual health. Due to displacement, overcrowding in makeshift shelters and the restriction of humanitarian aid, women have had to resort to desperate measures to care for their period.

Not only does the lack of access to menstrual supplies lead to unsanitary coping strategies, but the circumstances are emotionally damaging and humiliating. Some women have resorted to ripping off edges of shelter tents or pieces of clothing to use as pads. Others are taking pills to delay their period. Under normal circumstances, these pills may be used to prevent endometrial hyperplasia in hormone replacement therapy and treat conditions such as endometriosis. However, the side effects can be stressful on a woman’s body.

In response, Anera is providing hygiene kits that contain menstrual pads, clean underwear, wet wipes and more. With support from partners, Anera has so far been able to provide over 20,000 of these hygiene kits.

“The hygiene kits provide a sense of dignity and reduce the risk of infection, which we are seeing on the ground,” says Anera’s Palestine Country Director Sandra Rasheed. “In addition to responding to the overwhelming need for food, we are doing our very best to prevent the spread of infection and disease.”

A team member of Anera in Gaza organizes menstrual pads before distribution.

Our partners like WeCare.id and UNICEF have made our interventions possible. Additionally, members of our community have stepped up to help women in Gaza; such as Yasmina Benslimane, who has raised over $10,000 that will go directly to purchasing hygiene kits. 

“I experienced a painful reminder of my own privileges. Diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager, my periods are sometimes extremely painful, “ says Yasmina, “Yet, I am privileged to have access to clean water, medication, and the comfort of my bed – luxuries my Palestinian sisters do not have. Our fundraising efforts for hygiene kits through Anera, including pads, aim to restore a tiny bit of their dignity, addressing a huge void common in humanitarian responses in women’s needs.”

To provide Gaza with hygiene kits and other essential supplies, donate here

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