Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that one in five women in the U.S. had to decide whether to spend their money on food or period supplies. Some women resort to using socks, toilet paper, diapers, and cloth rags. These statistics are shocking and have to change. To make this necessary change, we need to build a strong community. So today, on World Menstrual Hygiene Day, EndoFound is launching a new program, PeriodNow, Because Periods Don't Stop for Pandemics.
At the core of the EndoFound mission is our commitment to tackling stigmas concerning menstruation. It's by talking about menstrual health, particularly our periods, that we will shorten the 7 to 10-year delay to diagnosing endometriosis, and we will make sure that no girls or women ever go without feminine hygiene products. Period talk is not taboo. We need to embrace it and discuss our periods with honesty and transparency.
Period equity lies at the core of women's public health. With the U.S. at a record-high level of unemployment, many people can no longer afford essentials such as tampons and pads. Adolescents who depend on schools for product are no longer able to access these supplies. Our PeriodNow mission is to tackle period poverty by getting products to people in need while also educating about endometriosis. There are still too many women that don't even know what endometriosis is.
We are ready to face this issue along with our partners, Period.org, Femstrate, Diva Cup, Key Foods, Seckin Endometriosis Center, NEO: Strategic Design, Behaviour Change & Capability Building, and New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal. Our mission is ever-more urgent during these unprecedented times.
PeriodNow partners are stepping up: Mya Abdelwahab and Nicole Soret, two juniors at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, similarly launched Femstrate to tackle period poverty.
“When we first began researching period poverty,” Mya and Nicole write, “we quickly realized schools are often the first supplier of feminine products for students in need as food stamps cannot be used to cover the cost of these items. We believe no one should have to go without these products in the same way that no one should have to go without food or shelter.”
They settled on the name Femstrate after taking the “men” out of “menstruate” and replacing it with a more relevant “fem.”
After writing a petition to Mayor De Blasio in April, Femstrate succeeded in connecting with the NYC Department of Education to request that pads and tampons currently in storage at the schools be distributed. Their successful endeavor resulted in those feminine hygiene products being given out at 211 of the city's meal hub sites. Thank you, Mya and Nicole!
Step up with PeriodNow. Your donation will distribute menstrual hygiene products to those in need and spread important awareness about the symptoms of endometriosis. Together we can battle the ongoing stigma around menstruation and get those in need the essentials they deserve.
Learn more about the PeriodNow campaign via this link. Together we can change the lives of so many women. PERIOD!