STOP PERIOD POVERTY – BE A PERIOD ACTIVIST

ENVIRONMENSTRUAL WEEK BLOG POST HEADER-2

WHY ARE PERIODS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE?

PERIOD TABOO – has a massive impact on the products we use and how we dispose of them. Certain period  products can affect our health, end up in landfill, on our beaches, or pollute our oceans for decades. 

 

PERIOD TRANSPARENCY – Manufacturers don’t have to list the ingredients in their period products. People should be able to make an informed decision when choosing which period products to use. 

 

PERIOD PRIVILEGE – Being able to choose healthy organic period products can come at a cost and so isn’t always available to everyone. Some people may experience period product difficulties that are specific to a disability.
 
PERIODS & HUMAN RIGHTS – Using organic period products means supporting the development of organic cotton production, where cotton farmers, the majority of whom are women in cotton producing countries, can safely grow food crops between the cotton and reduce their families’ exposure to pesticides. 
PERIOD INCLUSIVITY Not all people who have periods are women and not all women have periods. Language around periods should recognise that periods can be experienced by people across the gender spectrum.  
 
PERIOD REPRESENTATION – Inclusive and diverse representation of people with periods is rarely seen or valued. It’s important to create a safe and inclusive space for people of colour to share their period experience and amplify the voices of women and gender non-conforming people of colour.
 
PERIOD EQUALITY – The fact that the cheapest period products are often those with the most potential to damage our health and planet means that people with the least power have the greatest exposure to dangerous products. Everyone deserves  equal access to healthy, eco-friendly period products.
 
PERIOD EDUCATION – Learning about all period product options including reusables, is not available to every young person.
 

 

PERIOD POVERTY IN SCHOOLS

Schools and colleges in England can now order FREE period products, for their students, as part of a government scheme which was launched in January 2020 to help end period poverty. But only 17% of schools have to date taken up the scheme. So that’s 83% of schools that aren’t able to provide free period products to the young people that need them. 

WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL COUNCILLOR OR MP TODAY

ENVIRONMENSTRUAL PERIODS

 

We need local councillors and MPs to take a more active role in ensuring their local schools have ordered period products and these are reaching their students.

It is a matter of urgency that schools take up the period product provision scheme by December 2020, or else the scheme will be reset and it could be a case of “use it or lose it”.

But this isn’t the only issue.  The majority of schools currently use lesson plans and samples provided by the major period product manufacturers to educate children about periods.  These therefore have a bias towards single use period products, that contain plastic. Students need to be equipped with knowledge about menstruation and the use and disposal of different products – including reusables and organic plastic-free alternatives.

In an effort to offer independent period education, Wen and City to Sea are training people to become Environmenstrual Ambassadors as well as providing online training for teachers.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Write to your local Councillor or MP urging them to help ensure healthy, eco-friendly period products are reaching young people who need them as a matter of urgencyHere’s how:

ENVIRONMENSTRUAL PERIODS

WRITE A LETTER

  1. Find your local councillor or MP’s contact information.
  2. DOWNLOAD SAMPLE LETTER 
  3. Personalise the letter, say why this matter is important to you/family/your community and send to your councillor. (N.B. Try not to copy and paste, as identical messages won’t be accepted).
  4. Let us know when you receive a reply. Either email natasha@wen.org.uk or share it on social media and tag @Wen_UK and use hashtag #Write4PeriodParity.

TWEET YOUR LOCAL COUNCILLOR OR MP

  1. Use this suggested tweet: 
    @{Twitter handle of your MP/Councillor} Do you know that only 1/3 of schools in the UK have taken up @educationgovUK FREE period product scheme? Please check that all schools in {include region/town/county} have taken it up to end #PeriodPoverty https://bit.ly/3gnoQW3 #EnvironmenstrualWeek @Wen_UK
  2. Tag Wen @Wen_UK to let us know you #Write4PeriodParity

FURTHER READING

Find out more about Environmenstrual Week and how to get involved 

 GOVERNMENT PERIOD SCHEME

ARTICLE ON PERIOD POVERTY IN SCHOOLS

BLOODY GOOD PERIOD – PERIOD POVERTY CHARITY

ENVIRONMENSTRUAL WEEK TOOLKIT


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *