Period Poverty is a major public health crisis, which is impacting millions of girls and women all around the world. There are many organizations that are working towards ending Period Poverty. Since Period Poverty is an issue that needs to get more attention than it has been getting, I am listing down some organizations that are working towards ending Period Poverty.
Period Poverty impacts women and girls all around the globe physically, emotionally, and mentally. Because of Period Poverty, girls are deprived of education for several days a year. Missing school days also means a lack of involvement in school and extra-curricular activities. There are stigmas surrounding Periods, due to which it becomes an issue that cannot be mentioned in public. This is the case mostly in developing countries. For example, in rural India and Nepal, some period taboos includes the idea that girls and women are considered untouchable while they are in their periods. No one knows why period is a taboo, but because of the culture, women are ill-treated during this time by depriving them of basic necessities.
Some Organizations working towards ending Period Poverty:
Period is a non-profit global organization. Its goal is to end period poverty and stigmas surrounding period poverty through service, education, and advocacy. This organization provides free period products to the people who are in need, and who cannot afford to buy them. They also try to educate people by providing the reality of periods, which can then help to end the stigmatization of this normal process in women’s lives. Also, they are working towards ending period poverty through policy and legislation.
The Pad Project’s works by creating local and global partnerships to end period stigma and to empower women and all menstruators worldwide. With local organizations, the Pad Project helps in installing pad machines, implement reusable cloth pad-making programs, and run menstrual hygiene management workshops. In addition, this movement helps women become independent while ending period poverty.
Dignity Period started their work in Ethiopia. They started out to help girls stay in school by providing them sanitary supplies and the education they need to manage menstruation. Talking about menstruation is taboo in many countries, and girls are often scared and unprepared when they start having periods. This results in missing school and falling behind in their studies and even dropping out. To end this, Dignity Period has been distributing reusable sanitary products to girls in need.
Helping Women Period was founded in 2015. Its aim is to provide no-cost menstrual products to homeless or low-income people. Homeless and low-income people have lesser access to menstrual health products than other people. SNAP or any other welfare program does not cover sanitary products, though they are items of basic necessity. Hence, each month numerous women and girls are deprived of these basic sanitary products, which lead to physical and mental health issues. They are distributing necessary sanitary products to the needy homeless and low-income families.
The goal of Days for Girls is to increase the menstrual supplies, provide education and factual information, elevate menstrual health and provide opportunities. They are working towards increasing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable menstrual supplies for women and girls in need. One of the goals of this organization is to shatter menstrual stigma through education. This will help in normalizing periods and decrease the stigma and shame around this issue. Also, they help in establishing locally-owned and operated businesses that produce and sell washable pad products.
This organization is striving to end Period Poverty by addressing and countering each factor contributing to period poverty. They campaign for menstrual equity, supply free sanitary products to the ones who need them the most. They also coordinate menstrual health management education programs to reduce the period stigma and empower women.
National Level effort- Honorable Mentions
While there are multiple organizations working with the goal of ending Period Poverty, some nations have made laws in an effort of ending this public health crisis. Other nations should take this as positive motivation.
There are two countries on my list of Honorable Mentions- Scotland and New Zealand.
Scotland became the first nation in the world to make sanitary products free for the people who need them. The goal of this initiative is to end Period Poverty.
New Zealand is making period products free in schools, all over the nation. With this initiative Period Poverty will end and girls will not have to miss their school due to lack of menstrual supplies.
Receiving basic sanitary products while on periods should be a basic human right and not a luxury. Stigmas surrounding Period Poverty should end and periods should be normalized.
Let’s do our part in ending Period Poverty
First, let’s get educated on what period Poverty is, how it is impacting our society, what are the taboos related to menstruation, etc. Then, let’s educate the people around us. Let’s make everyone aware of this issue. We need to dismantle the menstruation taboos. Also, we need to support women who are in need of help.
If you are in support of ending Period Poverty or want to get more information on Period Poverty, go over the Pamphlet provided by AMWA. You can also write a letter to Congress and sign a petition to end Period Poverty by scanning the QR Code provided.
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