Home » Steps Being Taken to End Period Poverty

Steps Being Taken to End Period Poverty

by Nathan Zachary
Steps Being Taken to End Period Poverty

Admittedly, this question is very real. So what is it doing to end period poverty?

Product Donation

The brand is highly concerned about menstrual poverty and has been taking steps to provide supplies to those in need. Here are just a few snapshots of what some of the more mainstream-era product brands are doing:

  • Since launching the #EndPeriodPoverty campaign in March 2018, it always has donated over 50 million sanitary pads worldwide.
  • Tampax has distributed more than 6 million tampons through organizations like Feeding America.
  • U by Kotex, a founding partner of the Periodic Supply Alliance, has donated over 50 million products.

Nonprofit Support

While donations from menstrual product brands are significant, they don’t benefit everyone in need or last a lifetime. Bottom line: Donations to period poverty organizations are not enough, and nonprofits like PERIOD, The Pad Project, and Period Poverty have stepped into partnership with brands and developed policies to address menstrual poverty.

“If companies get rich by meeting the basic needs of half the world’s population, they can play a huge role,” said Michaela Bedard, executive director of menstrual equality nonprofit PERIOD.

“Products need to be more affordable and accessible. If we want to address this systematically, we must do much more.”

According to Bedard, menstrual product brands are critical to driving a higher level of change to make menstrual products more widely available.

“We know big companies have a lot of influence on policy, so I always invite them to negotiate.”

End the ‘Tampant Tax’

Activists have long pushed for the repeal of the “tampon tax” — a sales tax attached to menstrual products. While removing this tax won’t make menstrual products accessible, the cost savings could make a difference.

The good news is that there are signs that action is being taken. According to the nonprofit Period Equity, twenty-four states have eliminated taxes on menstrual products. But 26 states still have taxes — including some of the poorest parts of the country.

Some states have argued that removing the tax would cause them to lose. The income they needed, but Bedard said that didn’t hold true.

“There’s some revenue, but not as much as I think the states can absorb. We’ve seen that when they do away with the tampon tax, they’re fine.”

Phased Poverty Alleviation Policy

“For the first time, we’re seeing a dramatic change in the amount of legislation addressing menstrual poverty — it’s fascinating,” Bedard said.

In 2021, lawmakers in more than 30 states introduced Menstrual Fairness policies. While not many of them passed, Bedard noted that the fact that they were introduced in the first place “was a huge wave of transformation.”

Some states have also stepped in to help provide free period products as national policy lags to end period poverty.

“Los Angeles County just launched a 1-year pilot program to provide free menstrual products in restrooms in libraries, parks, social services, county museums, and cultural venues,” said Mellie, executive director of The Pad Project. Melissa Berton said.

Elsewhere on the West Coast, Burton shared that California officials recently passed a law that “requires, among other things, that public schools serving grades 6-12 have all women’s restrooms, all gender-neutral restrooms, and at least one Men’s restroom.”

“Some states have similar laws, and others are enacting them, that will help reduce menstrual poverty among U.S. students,” Burton added.

Our Ultimate Goal

Build a self-sustainable program that reliably and consistently provides jute botanical sanitary pads to millions of women.

All women should have access to essential hygiene products, and through this program, we aim to contribute to that cause and step to end period poverty.

We hope you will consider donating and participating in this innovative and environmentally friendly initiative. It help millions of women worldwide who suffer from menstrual poverty.

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