Celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day by #DrivingMH.
This Sunday, May 28 we’re celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day - a global call to action to raise awareness of the challenges people face in managing their menstrual cycles. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to research groups or shelters that accept period product donations in your area, and #addpads to your Memorial Day Celebrations!
From the Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) organizers, “Menstruation is an issue of human rights and dignity.” Without access to water, sanitation products, health services, and health-related education many people cannot manage their menstruation. According to the World Bank, one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school due to their periods, some missing as much as twenty percent of a school year. And this problem is not unique to developing countries.
For many people here in the U.S. experiencing homelessness, unemployment, or underemployment, coming up with the additional cost of a box of pads or tampons is not easy. Even in institutions like homeless shelters, domestic violence centers, or prisons, women often lack access to regular showers, hot water, and period products. Shelters say these products are the most often requested, but the least likely to be donated.
This year's MHD theme is “Education About Menstruation Changes Everything.” This is certainly true in America: in the past few years, #MenstrualEquity has sprung into American consciousness. Already 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed ‘tampon tax’ legislation, removing the sales tax from period products and identifying them as medical necessities. Fun fact: Just yesterday, Florida became the 14th state, when Republican Governor Rick Scott approved the bill to remove the tax on these items! And there are currently three bills in the U.S. Congress demanding safe menstrual hygiene care and ensuring access to menstrual hygiene products for all. (Stay tuned for future opportunities to call Congress in support of these awesome bills!)
Today, as we move towards breaking down shame and taboo surrounding periods, educate yourself about the agencies in your community that help provide period products to those in need -- and then support MHD’s Driving Menstrual Hygiene (#DrivingMH) project by collecting pads and tampons for your community. (Check out their toolkit here.)
It’s easier than you think! Are you having people over to BBQ and chill this weekend? Ask your friends to #addpads and then find a local spot to drop off your booty.
Where? Although NYC passed legislation in 2016 to make period products available in all public schools, city shelters, and jails, New Yorkers can still connect with Distributing Dignity, a New Jersey-based organization that distributes pads, tampons, and bras to shelters and has drop offs in NYC. California-based #HappyPeriod has six chapters across the country including Atlanta and Miami; Helping Women Period is connected to service organizations throughout Chicago; and the DC Diaper Bank’s The Monthly has more than 100 drop off locations across the region. You can also contact homeless shelters directly to ask if they accept these products.
Many of us may not notice or consider the cost of a box of period products (average $4-8) but as MHD says “...it is fair to say that managing menstruation with normalcy and in dignity remains a challenge everywhere.” This weekend, join us in #DrivingMH to help break down period taboos and ensure access to these basics for everyone.
Bonus Action: Make it a habit - Conscious Period donates a box of products to a woman in need with every purchase of their health-conscious, eco-conscious, socially-conscious, organic cotton tampons!
The Tampon Tax, Explained - The Washington Post