Four priorities for ending period poverty

Four ways to end period poverty | Breaking Glass Podcast

Michela Bedard is the Executive Director of PERIOD, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending period poverty around the world through advocacy, education, and access to information. Michela joined us on Breaking Glass to reflect on the incredibly complex social and political landscape that drives period poverty. We talked about periods, the tampon tax, and the global stigma around menstruation. Tackling these topics that not everyone is willing to talk about in order to help put an end to period poverty, and she included four ways that we as a society can help as well.

  1. Talk about periods – Speaking honestly and openly about the struggles and joys of periods will help end the stigma around them. Normalizing these conversations in work, school, and social settings is the first step to normalizing the issue and reducing the stigma associated with menstruation.
  2. Vote menstruators into office – Having menstruators in decision-making roles is crucial to ending period poverty. Their voices and points of view need to be heard out in the open in order to make better decisions and important changes around policies like the tampon tax that heavily influence period poverty.
  3. Make menstruation products available – Michela argues that menstruation products should be considered essential goods and made readily available anywhere we provide essential services – including jails, prisons, schools, and hospitals.
  4. Prioritize sex education – We need to support education for all people of all ages and genders. We need to update sex-education programs for younger generations, and teach older generations how to talk about subjects like menstruation and female hygiene with their children so that we can drive cuture shift on this issue.

Half of the world’s population is made up of menstruators, which is why it is so important to address issues related to period poverty openly and thoroughly. As Michela put it in our conversation on Breaking Glass, periods are “not something to be whispered about”. The good news is that change is on its way, and is even happening now. According to Michela, Gen Z is already speaking more openly about periods and the struggles that accompany them, and legislation addressing period poverty is being passed across the United States and all around the world. 

Listen to Michela on Breaking Glass