What is Period Poverty? The American Women’s Medical Association (AWMA) defines period poverty as “inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education, including but not limited to sanitary products, washing facilities, and waste management.” There are many menstrual injustices that accompany period poverty. Menstruation is often linked to shame and stigma, including culturally and socially. Menstruation education is poor and insufficient. Children miss or avoid school because of their period, due to lack of access and education. “Women in the U.S. struggle to achieve adequate menstrual hygiene, due to lack of access and income,” according to the AWMA, especially students and homeless women. 35 U.S. states have a tax on period products, often referred to as the “Pink Tax” or “Tampon Tax,” as they’ve been deemed “non-essential items.” Moreover, food stamps do not cover menstrual products. So, what can we do about this issue? We can organize period product drives in our communities and donate to local organizations that accept period products. We can start “give one, take one” period product programs at places in our community, such as schools, churches, and businesses. We can work actively to dismantle stigma around periods in our communities.
CHMS GIRL UP CLUB
Written by members of the City High Girl Up Club.