May is Women's Health Month and it's never too early or late to make healthy changes so you look and feel your best. You can take control of your health and help others in your community too! However, in some communities, it's hard to get healthy food, and even harder to get hygiene items such as period products, which are essential to our menstrual health. That is why from May 23rd-29th, Atlanta GLOW will be participating in Period Poverty Awareness Week (PPAW).
What is Period Poverty?
Half of the population menstruates. But not everyone knows that 2 in 5 people struggle to purchase period supplies due to lack of income, a 35% increase from a 2018 study conducted by U by Kotex®. This issue is called period poverty, and chances are we each know someone who has experienced this need -- a neighbor, a coworker, a friend. Kotex's study also uncovered how period poverty is disproportionately impacting Black and Latina people, as well as how COVID-19 exasperated this public health issue. Key findings include:
A quarter of Black (23%) and Latina (24%) people with periods strongly agree that they’ve struggled to afford period products in the past year.
27% of all respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to access period products, with two-thirds (65%) of those who have struggled stating they lacked access because they could not afford them.
Over one-third (38%) of low-income women report missing work, school or similar events due to lack of access to period supplies.
Nearly seven in ten (68%) people agree that period poverty is a public health issue, yet only 4% of Americans are aware of a local resource where free or reduced cost period supplies are available.
Source: Alliance for Period Supplies
What is Period Poverty Awareness Week?
No student or adult should have to miss work or school, no individual should have to substitute a sock or tissue for a pad, and no person should have to miss out on daily life because they are unable to afford the supplies they need. That is why the Alliance for Period Supplies created Period Poverty Awareness Week (PPAW) to educate on the issue period poverty and the impact period poverty has on menstruators.
How is Atlanta GLOW Making a Difference?
Through Atlanta GLOW’s ongoing Period+ program, working in partnership with local campuses, shelters, pantries and community organizations, we distribute thousands of period supplies to low-income women and girls in Georgia. Atlanta GLOW is also a proud member of the Alliance for Period Supplies and the Georgia Stop Tax On Menstrual Products (STOMP) Coalition. Through these collaborations, we are engaged in training, outreach and non-lobbying advocacy work to educate and engage communities about the policies and key decisions affecting menstrual equity and period poverty.
How to Get Involved
We encourage everyone to join the Alliance for Period Supplies' PPAW movement by taking the pledge to help #endperiodpoverty -- start a conversation about period poverty, host a period product drive, donate to the Atlanta GLOW’s Period+ program or a similar program, or do one of many other activities we’ll each be promoting during PPAW, right from the comfort of your home. Essentially, the more awareness activities you participate in this month, the more opportunities you’ll have to help us #endperiodpoverty AND the more chances you will have to win cool PPAW prizes!
Here are a few fun ways you can participate:
Pledge. Sign our online pledge to end the stigma of periods and do more to advance menstrual equity and receive a free #EndPeriodShame lapel pin from our PPAW sponsor, The Body Shop.
Post. Write our period poverty facts (see page 2) on post-it notes and stick them in public places (e.g., clothing store dressing room) OR reshare Atlanta GLOW‘s PPAW posts online (post and tag us at @atlantaglow).
Purchase. Purchase any period product(s) marked "High Priority" from our Amazon Charity wish list.
Participate. Participate in fighting the stigma by talking about periods everyday. Purchase and download our Menstrual Equity Conversation Cards ($8) for your next gathering of friends!
Party. Register to attend Atlanta GLOW’s PPAW Pajama Party on Menstrual Hygiene Day, May 28th!