Period Talk is a platform we created to encourage the conversation around periods.
What Period poverty is:
Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, handwashing facilities, and waste management.
Menstruation is not a choice. It comes with unpleasant and challenging experiences - from the pain and the embarrassment, to the lack of products or disposal facilities. These detrimental impacts, along with many others, are often, but perhaps not often enough, referred to as period poverty - a form of poverty that impacts millions of women and girls across the world. We would go as far as to describe period poverty as a global crisis. Action Aid, a UK-based charity, recorded that 1 in 10 girls in Africa miss school because they don't have access to sanitary products or a safe and hygienic toilet. But this problem is far closer to home than some may think; Bodyform found that over 350,000 girls in the UK will admit to having missed school on at least one occasion because of their period. Devastating figures like these are just a small representation of the realities that girls face worldwide. Charities and organisations such as FreePeriods.org and The Red Box Project are working tirelessly to better equip UK schools so that no student of the future shall have to forgo their education because of a natural cycle. FreePeriods was founded by Amika George to raise awareness of period poverty and to support those whose periods have become a hindrance to their education.
What we’re about:
This website, along with our social media accounts, is dedicated to raising awareness of period poverty and helping the world to understand what this means, in all settings. Another aspect of this site is dedicated to the hard work of so many charities that are working tirelessly to help overcome this global crisis. We have chosen to share the work we have done, are actively doing, and what we wish to achieve, as well as offering ways for you to support and help eradicate period poverty. Though we are not a charity, our mission is to normalise the conversation in order to see more changes. Therefore, we have left the web links for many charities over on the ‘Action’ segment of this site for you to explore, learn, and help in your own way.
We also intend to share stories and truths in order to achieve our goal of normalising period talk. We believe that this is the first step in the right direction towards creating better period experiences for all.
Why we have chosen to start up:
Disadvantage. As well as its educational detriment, period poverty involves stigma. Menstruation is stigmatised everywhere, from cultural shame to lack of hygiene education. It is a natural, bodily function and yet, a taboo subject. Period stigma is harmful to all women because it is damaging in both their personal and professional lives. The stigmatisation leads to a lack of health education, which, in turn, fuels myths that ostracise women during their monthly cycles. This vicious circle must be broken.
To overcome period poverty, a key area on which to focus is the provision of free menstrual products. However, whilst this is a step in the right direction, it will take a lot more to end the global crisis. We need a greater platform for this conversation if we are to achieve the change necessary to eradicate period poverty.
Until this topic is discussed openly worldwide, it will remain a silent struggle for many. As we are showcasing through this site and our social media accounts, there are a plethora of organisations fighting to end period poverty every day. However, they need a greater reach to achieve the overall defeat of period poverty.
Until period talk is normalised, and all menstruating people can access products and hygiene facilities, we cannot declare that we have conquered this global issue.
What we hope the blog will achieve:
What we ask of you, our readers:
Through social media - be it conversations, retweets or hashtags - we ask you to help catapult this global crisis to the top, so it can be seen AND HEARD.
Here is some advice on how to get involved:
- Foodbank donations
Foodbanks are a solace for many who unfortunately struggle to financially fund a food shop for their household. When donating, however, people often forget about toiletries. Both of us have a history of collecting food and toiletries for Trussell Trust foodbanks and cannot recommend this simple form of activism enough. It is minimal effort, and yet your actions will help far more people than you know. During the COVID-19 lockdown, we both have dedicated time to collecting for food banks in our local areas – Sophie specifically asked for sanitary products and managed to gather £100's worth, which will help so many women in this difficult time.
As mentioned, our goal is to normalise period talk. The more people talk, the more people hear. It really is simple. We ask that you help in this movement by joining in the conversation. It is the easiest way to spread awareness and encourage change. You could even start the conversation with your friends during a virtual cocktail night (check our ‘recipe of the month’ for how to make Bloody Marys).
Links to charities and movements:
Here is a list of charities and movements helping in the fight to end period poverty. We encourage you to understand more about them by visiting their websites, donating to their causes, and joining their movements to end period poverty.
- Always - https://www.always.co.uk/en-gb/about-us/endperiodpoverty
- The Homeless Period- http://thehomelessperiod.com/
- Bodyform- https://www.bodyform.co.uk/our-world/period-poverty/
- Trussell Trust- https://www.trusselltrust.org
- Red Box Project- http://redboxproject.org/
- Hey Girls- https://www.heygirls.co.uk/