National Coalition to End Period Poverty Launched

Nonpartisan coalition is dedicated to dismantling barriers that prevent access to affordable menstrual care products

A diverse group of national nonprofits, trade associations and advocacy organizations have formed of the National Coalition to End Period Poverty. The nonpartisan coalition is dedicated to dismantling barriers that prevent access to affordable menstrual care products, promoting menstrual equity for all, and ending period poverty.

“No individual should have to miss school, work, or face health risks simply because they can’t access basic menstrual products,” said Michela Bedard, executive director of PERIOD., a founding member organization of the coalition. “This coalition will help raise awareness, educate the public and policymakers, and drive legislative change to achieve menstrual equity across the United States.”

Nearly two-thirds of low-income women cannot afford menstrual products, which can lead to missed school or work and adverse health impacts (National Women’s Law Center, 2021). Research shows providing free menstrual products in schools improves attendance and academic performance. While some states have begun addressing the issue, efforts have been fragmented to date.

The coalition’s goals include reducing barriers and increasing access to affordable menstrual products, encouraging period-friendly bathrooms, raising public awareness about menstrual health, and advocating for national policies like providing free products in schools, prisons, shelters and public facilities. 

“Menstrual equity is an issue of basic human rights and dignity,” said Jennifer Gaines, manager of national engagement of the Alliance for Period Supplies, another founding member organization of the coalition. “Our broad and inclusive coalition will work to break down stigma and finally achieve period equity for all people in the United States.” 

Founding coalition members include: Alliance for Period Supplies; PERIOD; ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association; Period Law; Girls Inc.; IGNITE; Kids In Need Foundation; National Association of School Nurses; and The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). The open membership coalition invites other organizations committed to promoting menstrual equity and ending period poverty. No politically aligned entities will be allowed to join. 

This coalition is made up of national organizations with the capacity to research, advocate, and spread awareness about menstrual equity policy. While groups of local and statewide organizations effectively work towards period equity throughout the US, this national coalition hopes to both learn from their work and inform their local advocacy while advocating for federal level policy changes.

Nonpartisan legislation to end period poverty, to provide period products in schools, and/or to end the “tampon tax,” among others, has passed in both Democratic and Republican led states. The coalition aims to build on existing grassroots support at the state level to move solutions at the federal level.

Source: Nonwovens Industry – Breaking News

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