There is another side to our mission that we like to call ‘period dignity’.
When you use a public bathroom, it’s expected that toilet paper and hand soap are readily available, but what happens if you’re caught short by your period and there are no products in sight?
Periods should be normalised and along with the eradication of period poverty, we also want to eradicate the stigma and shame around menstruation. If free products were available in every workplace, Pegah may have had a different outcome to a very important job interview she attended. She tells us her story below:
At Hey Girls we like to do a show of hands and see the room fill up with people admitting to being caught short, and with the below statistics, it’s not surprising that there’s rarely a hand kept down.
40% called in sick to work because of their period
48% missed classes because of their period
Even more shocking is that 22% of people facing period poverty had to improvise products due to financial difficulty. We've witnessed socks, newspapers and even bread being used as alternatives to period products which is where our period dignity campaign comes into play.
Simply put, we believe access to free products is a basic right, not a luxury which is why we work with a huge variety of organisations, workplaces, education facilities and public spaces to ensure products can be accessed without barriers.
What do you mean by barrier free access?
We mean products available for anyone, everywhere without having to ask for them, pay for them or explain why they need them. Dignity comes from having access to quality products without having to make it public knowledge that you’re on your period or struggling to make ends meet that month. You shouldn’t have to whisper to a stranger for a spare tampon in a public toilet or ask for a specific teacher at school and you certainly shouldn’t have to take time away from your work by leaving the office to buy products.
We’re noticing businesses, councils and education are recognising there is a need for period dignity in their organisations but there is a still a long way to go. Encourage your workplace to improve their social responsibility, explain to your teachers why it’s important to have discreet access to products and write to your local councils so that free access to products is normalised in public spaces and no one has to experience an undignified period again.
Please contact our customer service team to join our period dignity campaign and find out how your workplace, school or community can supply sustainable products for everyone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written with thanks to Pegah for sharing her story with us.