Did you know that 1 in 5 women in North America alone regularly miss school or work because of their period?Period poverty essentially refers to when people don't have access to necessary period supplies, typically due to lack of income or lack of substantial income. Access also prevents many people from getting the supplies they need, as they may be too far away or not "suitable" for the person. This causes them to use make-shift provisions such as towels, socks, or tissue. For young people everywhere, access to menstrual products is a huge roadblock. Think about having to miss work once a week every single month. It would be impossible to get anything done or to be a consistently contributing member of the workplace.
As much of a luxury as it appears to be to constantly bleed for 4-6 days every month for your entire life, along with headaches, abdominal pain, and bloating--having a period is not as fun as politicians want to make it look. Even tampon commercials make it seems like menstruation is all about spinning in a field of daisies wearing all-white.
There isn't anything dirty about periods. It's a very natural and hygienic process. But when you don't have access to proper supplies, it can certainly get messy fast. It may not be dirty, but it's hardly a luxurious experience.
Whatever your values are, period poverty should be something you are working to alleviate. It is a workplace issue, it is a medical issue, it is an education issue. Unfortunately, it is also a political issue.
Lobbying for a decrease in taxes on period products across the board taught me that many legislators in Jefferson City care very little about people missing work or school due to lack of access to medical products.
Thankfully, local groups are taking a stand with the creation of RED--which stands for Raising Everyday Discussions. For the month of April, Generation Action from Missouri State University and Kat Sue Jaymes from Glendale High School are teaming up to alleviate period poverty in Greene County.
The three groups are now accepting donations throughout the month of April to give to Rare Breeds and Harmony House. If you would like to donate, contact Angela Presnell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and for your donations.