The Foundation for Delaware County partnered with State Sens. Tim Kearney (D-Delaware/Chester), Amanda Cappelletti (D-Montgomery/Delaware), and state Rep. Gina H Curry (D-Delaware on a recent community discussion looking at the impact of Period Poverty.
The virtual event, “Understanding the Impact of Period Poverty—and How You Can Help,” was an effort to raise awareness about this public health issue. It featured four speakers and included solution suggestions for lawmakers and the community, reports einnews.com.
Senator Kearney highlighted the need for discussion.
“There is so much stigma surrounding openly talking about menstrual cycles and equity,” said Sen. Kearney, who is currently organizing a Feminine Hygiene Products Donation Drive with Rep. Curry for local women and girls.
Katie Kenyon, Community Engagement Director for The Foundation for Delaware County, said the Foundation works every day with individuals and families struggling to access and afford menstruation products.
“This community discussion, and especially the testimonies from the speakers, highlight how important it is to ensure that period supplies are readily available in pantries, shelters, schools, social service agencies, and legislators’ offices so that all menstruating people have access to supplies they may need,” she said.
She thanked the elected officials at the discussion for creating partnerships and policy opportunities around period poverty.
Sen. Cappelletti, co-chair of the Women’s Health Caucus, is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 602 which would require schools and public agencies to make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost.
“Menstrual inequity is a rarely discussed issue that affects roughly 25% of women and menstruating people – particularly low-income individuals – and must prioritize their basic needs on a month-by-month basis,” stated Sen. Cappelletti. “By having this discussion today, we can normalize this conversation and hopefully move towards comprehensive and effective change.”
On average, women in the United States spend close to $15 on menstrual hygiene products per month. In 30 states, these products are subject to a state sales tax and for menstruating individuals in low-income households, those experiencing homelessness, or other financial barriers, paying for these products create obstacles.
Suggestions to improve the situation include more community collaboration, research, and educational advocacy on the topic, paying attention to how we depict menstruators, and sharing resources.