Glastonbury Festival teams up with WaterAid and Hey Girls to ensure a bloody good time and period dignity for all

on
24 May 2024
WaterAid volunteers at the women's urinals, Glastonbury Festival, June 2023.
Image: WaterAid/ Lis Parham


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A new WaterAid survey has found that 4 in 5 (86%) respondents* have planned their activities around their period, while over a third (37%) say they wouldn’t feel comfortable having their period at an outdoor event. This survey comes as the international charity teams up with Glastonbury Festival and period product social enterprise Hey Girls to help people manage their period with dignity at the festival and around the world.

The survey of 2,000 people who are menstruating or have menstruated in the last year found that nearly half (49%) are more conscious of being due their period during the summer while 28% have considered changing their plans because they were due to get their period close to or at an outdoor event. 

Announced today, WaterAid will provide new period-proud stations at four of its women’s urinals offering a private space equipped with sinks, warm water and soap to clean reusable products – a Glastonbury-first that will help people have a choice about how they manage their period.  

The polling also revealed that almost 1 in 5 (19%) respondents have changed plans due to being due on their period at an event, while and 27% have unexpectedly got their period while at an event. The study found there are a number of ways respondents would feel more comfortable managing their period at events including the offer of free period products (59%), female only toilets (62%) and wash stations (40%).

Thanks to this year’s new period partnership, Glastonbury goers need not worry as those who are caught short can pick up free products at WaterAid’s women’s urinals and information points across Worthy Farm.

Jane Healy, Sanitation Manager, Glastonbury Festival said:

“Around 17,000 people will have their period at the Festival4, but that shouldn’t hold anyone back from having a great week. We hope the new period proud spaces and the free period products on offer will help people manage their period with dignity and let them continue to have a bloody good time!”

Through purchasing the period products from Hey Girls, Glastonbury is helping fund the fight to eradicate period poverty in the UK. 3 in 4 (76%) respondents think period products are too expensive, while over a quarter (26%) worry about struggling to afford period products in the future.

Additionally, the period products available at the Festival will be made from sustainable and organic disposable material. Almost two thirds (65%) of respondents of the survey say the environmental impact of period products is concerning and over half (56%) would like to learn how to manage their periods more sustainably.

Kate Smith, Co-Founder/Director, Hey Girls said:

“We are so excited to be working with Glastonbury Festival and WaterAid to help put a stop to period worries and stigma while at the event. Not only will the spaces and sustainable products support those at the event itself, but the partnership will also support people experiencing period poverty around the UK, through our buy one give one scheme.  

“We believe access to period products and education is a human right, not a privilege and we are aiming to bring an end to period poverty in the UK through conversation, collaboration, and a lot of hard work.”  

Good menstrual health for all is vital to achieve gender equality across the world. The partnership between Glastonbury Festival, Hey Girls and WaterAid is helping to tackle period taboos while raising awareness about the importance of clean water, safe spaces and ending period poverty.

Jennie York, Executive Director of Communications and Fundraising, WaterAid, said:

“Globally, more than 500 million people – that’s a quarter of everyone who menstruates - don’t have the resources they need to manage their period5. This doesn’t only impact their dignity, it can have far-reaching impacts that put women and girls at a disadvantage throughout their lives. Many simply have no choice but to stay home every month, missing out on vital opportunities like going to school and earning a living – impacting their futures.

“WaterAid is calling on governments to prioritise the needs of women and girls globally and ensure access to period friendly toilets and clean water - their fundamental human right – along with menstrual health information and support to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.”

WaterAid works in schools and communities globally to ensure people have practical information on menstrual health and hygiene as well as access to decent toilet facilities and safe, affordable products including guidance on how to make their own reusable materials and how to use menstrual materials safely. WaterAid also campaigns on an international scale to break down the stigma surrounding periods and ensure menstrual health is included in policies, programmes and related budgets so people get the support they need.

ENDS  


For more information, please contact:

Abigail Smith, [email protected]
Or call WaterAid’s press line on 020 7793 4537
Or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

*OnePoll conducted a survey on behalf of WaterAid from 16th to 23rd May 2024. Sample size was 2000 UK people who are currently menstruating or have menstruated in the last year.

WaterAid  

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. We work alongside communities in 22 countries to secure these three essentials that transform people’s lives. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water and nearly 29 million people with decent toilets.

For more information, visit our website wateraid.org/uk, follow us on Twitter @WaterAidUK, @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress, or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

  • 703 million people in the world – almost one in ten – don’t have clean water close to home.1  
  • 2.2 billion people in the world – more than one in four – don’t have safe water.1  
  • Almost 2 billion people in the world – one in four – lack soap and/or water to wash their hands at home, if they have a place at all.1  
  • 1.5 billion people in the world – almost one in five – don’t have a decent toilet of their own.1    
  • 570 million people in the world – 1 in 14 – have a decent toilet but have to share it with people outside their family. This compromises the privacy, dignity and safety of women and girls.2  
  • Almost 400,000 children under five die every year due to diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. That's more than 1000 children a day, or almost one child every one and a half minutes.2  
  • Investing in safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services provides up to 21 times more value than it costs.3
  • WaterAid is calling on the public to share their support on the Vote Water petition. To add your name and tell the next UK Government to prioritise water, sanitation and hygiene visit wateraid.org/votewater

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2023). Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2022: special focus on gender. Available at: washdata.org/reports/jmp-2023-wash-households-launch (accessed 11 Jul 2023).  

[2] WHO (2023). Burden of disease attributable to unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene: 2019 update. Available at: who.int/publications/i/item/9789240075610 (accessed 24 Jul 2023).

[3] WaterAid (2021). Mission-critical: Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene for a healthy and green economic recovery. Available at: washmatters.wateraid.org/publications/mission-critical-invest-water-sanitation-hygiene-healthy-green-recovery (accessed 1 Nov 2023).

[4] WaterAid (2024). Estimated number of people menstruating during Glastonbury Festival 2023. Internal statistic. Unpublished. 
[5]Amaya L, Marcatili J, Bhavaraju N (2020). Advancing gender equity by improving menstrual health. Available at: fsg.org/resource/advancing-gender-equity-improvingmenstrual-health/ (accessed 22 Jun 2024).