One in five teens say they struggle to afford period products, or are unable to purchase them at all, according to a national study. As a consequence, 84 percent say they’ve missed school, or know somebody who else who has.
California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania have passed laws requiring menstrual products to be available for free in middle and high school bathrooms.
Tell our Minnesota lawmakers to join the growing list of states that recognizes period poverty as an important mental and physical health issue. Minnesota needs this low cost, high impact solution to support education, health and gender equity in our schools.
Call and E Mail your lawmakers and ask them to support the Minnesota Menstrual Equity Bill Today! Find out who represents you here.
Access to period products is an issue of gender equity, health equity and education equity. Students who don’t menstruate have access to everything they need for health and hygiene in their school bathrooms – toilet paper, soap, running water, and paper towels or dryers, while menstruators are expected to carry products with them.
Some students resort to using items like rags, paper towels, toilet paper, or cardboard. Others ration sanitary products by using them for extended amounts of time. If period products are available in a nurse’s office or from a teacher or a fellow student, and the student is able to overcome the stigma surrounding periods to find a resource and request a product, it causes an interruption in their school day and impacts their ability to stay in their classrooms. Students who use improvised products or who have to find and request products are vulnerable to harmful physical and mental health outcomes, such as vaginosis, potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Find a sample phone call and email script here.
Find downloadable graphics to share with the hashtag #EndPeriodPovertyMN here.
Learn more about ways to get involved with NCJW Minnesota here.
Questions? Email us!