The first time I became aware of period poverty was a few years ago when I watched a webisode from the NSFWomen series called “How Do Homeless Women Cope With Their Periods?“.
This short yet impactful webisode (watch it here) interviewed several women on the streets who have used plastic bags, rags, and old pieces of clothing as makeshift pads and tampons. IF there is even some small amount of money, it often comes down to choosing between eating and menstrual products.
To add to this, these makeshift products are also what makes women most susceptible to infections such as UTIs and yeast infections.
While the webisode was recorded in the United States, this is a barrier that is worldwide, including right here in Edmonton. As a fellow menstruator, I’m not okay with this.
Menstrual Products Are A Necessity, Not A Luxury
Here in Edmonton, Scarlet Bjornson started the No Woman Without campaign in 2017, and since then, has been working to help end period poverty.
This has done by bringing awareness through social media, partnering with local businesses as drop-off locations for donations, and most importantly, helping to end the stigma associated with menstruation – a natural biological function.
How You Can Help End Period Poverty Today
When other countries like Scotland have made period products free, and provinces like B.C. offer free menstrual products to students, it’s time that we as a city, province, and country do better. Here is how you can help.
Donate unopened tampons, maxi pads, panty liners, and menstrual treatment products. Any brand and any kind are accepted, and for March, this is how you can donate:
- Blush Lane Organic Market located at 8135 102 St NW.
- SPUD.ca – Donate products in your empty SPUD order
Not only are Blush Lane and SPUD.ca accepting donations, but they also offer a great selection of period products for you to purchase and donate. Specifically, when you buy Organyc products, 25% of the proceeds will go towards menstrual hygiene products for those in need. Also, for every Diva Cup purchased in March, a Diva Cup will be donated to menstruators in need too!
**If you’re in Calgary, you can donate menstrual products via The Period Project
Help advocate for change by writing a letter to your elected officials. Whether you’re a menstruator or a co-menstruator, your advocacy is needed because this is an everyone issue. No Woman Without has even done all the hard work and has provided sample letters and links for you to find which federal, provincial, and civic elected officials to send your letters to.
“When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”- Malala Yousafzai
To learn more about the, No Woman Without campaign, visit their website at www.nowomanwithout.com