What happened in the country during the first annual National Period Day?
Let’s take a look back at the first inaugural National Period Day! As you may or may not know, it came and went two weeks ago, on October 19. Nadya Okamoto, the founder and CEO of Period.org, and her team created what is now known as the first National Period Day. In case you missed out on the events and protest surrounding National Period Day this year, this follow up will give you a look inside what went on so that you will know what to expect and get excited about next year. Rallies took place all across the United States during the weekend to “elevate the issue of period poverty and demanding real change to making period products more accessible for all and ending the tax on feminine hygiene products.”
As protestors were rallying together across the country, it is most important to point out the fact that a large majority of the protestors are apart of Generation Z. They wanted their voices to be heard and knew the purpose and importance of National Period Day. In places like Memphis, Tennessee, one 16-year-old protestor says that she “saw a video of a homeless woman using trash to absorb her menstrual blood and it was a gut punch to me because I’ve never had to worry about where my menstrual products are coming from.” This harsh realization resonated with most protestors as they raised their signs and their voices to bring awareness to period poverty. Shelby County commissioner, Tami Sawyer, says that she will be presenting a resolution asking legislators to push for no taxes on period products.
Elsewhere in the country, protestors in Arizona gathered at the Wesley Bolin Memorial plaza. There were over 40 activists that participated in the rally in Phoenix. It is reported that 17% of Arizonans live below the poverty line which makes for any even greater reason for participants in the rally to make sure that their voices and push for change are being heard. Iduja Kumar, the founder of an Arizona Period chapter, says that the policies that are set in place must be examined and there must be a continued fight to find what can be done to make access to period products more equitable for everyone.
The greatest of all of the publicized rallies was the rally that took place at the Capitol. Protestors stood outside of the Capitol with demands that congress address not only the issue of period poverty but also the reports of migrant women in detention centers near the U.S. Mexico border that are being denied products and bleeding through their clothing. Julie Schwietort Collazo, director of Immigrant Families Together, was quoted saying that “we don’t often talk about menstrual equity in places that are totally beyond public view, such as immigrant detention centers… I am here to ask that we do not forget them as they cannot be here speak their own words.”
The first National Period Day was certainly one for the books, but the fight continues beyond this one day as politicians and the public continue to push for change. We encourage you to get involved next year and push for change now!
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