Today is the first ever #NationalPeriodDay and while it is sad that some unfortunate souls suffer from period poverty - meaning they don’t have the means necessary to successfully manage their menstruation - it is encouraging to note that this problem is being taken very seriously.
New York State is the first state of the 50 United States that just made disclosing the ingredients in periods and pads mandatory AND they also will provide free products in their public schools for students in grade 6 through 12. I am sure many people are feeling serious gratitude about these changes and optimism that other states will soon follow New York’s lead.
Canada has proposed a law to provide free menstrual products to federal government workers and private universities are taking it upon themselves to have products available to their students but as of this writing, it is still a school by school endeavour.
Take a moment with me and imagine a perfect world where menstrual products are provided free throughout the land in all public washrooms including schools, libraries, community centres, museums, stadiums, courthouses, transportation facilities including stations and on trains/planes/buses etc., and also in privately owned establishments such as malls, restaurants, cinemas, pubs…ad infinitum. What I’m talking about here is a world where pads and tampons are deemed as necessary as toilet paper because they are!
Well, that dream can become a reality and this first #NationalPeriodDay is one of the first steps in that direction. Now, it is up to advocates, lawmakers and YOU to keep working to make this happen. Besides sharing your voice and dollars to support organizations that are fighting period poverty, please try and do what you can in your own community. Do you notice there is nothing provided in your place of work? Bring it up with a superior or your Human Resources department. In addition, make products available in your home washroom for friends or family members in need.
You could also wear a pin on your clothes or purse that state “I carry menstrual products” or just a red button that signifies the same to those in the know. This would mean that you would always carry spare tampons or pads in your purse and are willing to give them to anyone who has the savvy to ask.