Period Equity

Period equity or menstrual equity is about issues of fairness and rights that stem from how people are treated due to menstruation. One of the most important and easiest to understand is period poverty -- when people can't afford to buy the sanitary products like pads and tampons each month. Period shaming in cultures around the world is often a root cause of period poverty and associated problems. Period equity is a growing movement that approaches these issues through the lens of women's rights and human rights.

Period Poverty

Ending Period Poverty - Dana Clark & Ryann Mescher
These two high school students spoke at a TEDxYouth day in Dayton, Ohio in March, 2020

Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management. Millions in the US and around the world experience it.

What is period poverty? - CBS News, May 28, 2019 - this includes the CBS documentary Period. Half the population has one. But no one talks about it.

Ending Period Poverty Is Within Sight for These Young People - Teen Vogue, Jan. 13, 2021

Period Poverty Is Getting Worse During the Pandemic - Teen Vogue, Oct. 7, 2020

The Hidden Effects of Period Poverty in the US - Thinx Piece (blog from company that sells period products), Oct. 17, 2020 . Reports on a study that Thinx conducted with the Harris Poll that questioned menstruating teens from 13 to 19.

Period Shaming

Pad Man: A man's 'period poverty' rescue becomes a film - BBC News

Period shaming is about making people who are menstruating feel embarrassment and shame, and it's also about how many of us feel that it's something we can't ask about, or that when we do it's OK to tease, bully or exclude due to menstruation. It's also one reason that too many kids do not know what is happening when they have their first period. The best way to fight period shaming is to improve education and knowledge around periods.

Periods! Why These 8th-Graders Aren't Afraid To Talk About Them - NPR, May 15, 2019 - story about an award-winning podcast that 8th graders made about period shaming.

Nearly half of girls do not know what is happening when they start their first period, study reveals - The Independent, March 20, 2017.

The cost of menstrual shame - Kayla-Leah Rich at TEDxBoise, Jun 19, 2017

Period Equity

Periods are a human issue - Nadya Okamoto and the #MenstrualMovement

Period equity is a movement that looks at how laws, taxes, organizations and societies treat people who menstruate unequally, causing an unfair financial burden , exclusion from activities like school or work opportunities, and less access to basic health and hygiene. It is approached as a human rights issue.

The Pad Project - The Pad Project’s mission is to create and cultivate local and global partnerships to end period stigma and to empower women and all menstruators worldwide.

PERIOD - A global non-profit youth organization fighting to end period poverty and stigma through service, education, and advocacy. It was founded by Nadya Okamoto, who also wrote a book for teens, Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement

Period Equity - This is an organization that is working on issues like the "tampon tax" to eliminate taxes on menstrual products (which has been done in Massachusetts!), as well as fighting to make these products freely available in schools, shelters, and correctional facilities, and making sure products are safe, both those using them and for our environment.

More organizations involved in period education and fighting for menstrual equity

  • AFRIpads - a social enterprise that specializes in the local manufacture and global supply of reusable sanitary pads as a cost-effective menstrual hygiene solution for millions of women and girls worldwide. AFRIpads is headquartered in Uganda, with sales offices in Kenya and Malawi.

  • Alliance for Period Supplies - Launched in May 2018, with the support of founding sponsor U by Kotex®, the Alliance for Period Supplies is comprised of Allied Programs that collect, warehouse and distribute menstrual/period supplies in local communities.

  • Days for Girls - Nonprofit that provides girls with DfG Kits, teaches health education, to offering training for her when she grows older, so that she can produce DfG Kits and support hygiene needs in her community.

  • - Includes information on how to make pads.

  • Girls Helping Girls. Period. and article about sisters who started charity: These Sisters Are Getting Tampons To Women Who Can’t Afford Them

  • Tampon Tuesday - organizes events where the “admission” is a box of tampons to be donated to a food bank. Highlights the fact that period products are one of the most requested and least often donated items at food banks.