U.S. Congresswomen Grace Meng, students, educators to speak about the adverse impact of period poverty

Period. and Alliance for Period Supplies call on Congress to support Menstrual Equity for All Act and accessible period products for students in all schools.

I am proud to have championed the Menstrual Equity for All Act that is the first, whole-of-government approach to addressing period poverty.”
— Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY)
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, May 24, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) will join students, educators, and advocacy groups at a press conference on May 26th to speak on the impact of period poverty, the lack of access and affordability of menstrual products, on students across the country. The press conference will be hosted by advocacy organizations PERIOD. and the Alliance for Period Supplies. The event will take place at the entrance of Townsend High School on 149-11 Melbourne Ave, in Queens, NY, at 11 AM ET on Thursday, May 26th, celebrating the upcoming Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) on May 28th.

Initiated by the Berlin-based NGO WASH United in 2014, MHD is an annual global period poverty awareness day set on May 28th to highlight the need for accessible period products and menstrual health. The Alliance for Period Supplies hosts Period Poverty Awareness week in honor of Menstrual Hygiene Day, drawing attention to the issue of period poverty and the impact it has on individuals here in the United States, scheduled for May 23rd - May 29th, 2022.

A 2021 study, authored by PERIOD. and Thinx, shows that nearly 1 in 4 U.S. students can't afford period products. Advocacy groups PERIOD. and Alliance for Period Supplies commend New York City and New York State for mandating period products in public schools and now call for the federal government to learn from such policies and enact a nationwide policy requiring period products in all public schools. Providing free period products in school restrooms has proven to cut down the rate of missed class time among students who menstruate. Currently 33 states do not require menstrual products be provided in school restrooms, and many states that do require menstrual products in schools only require them in some restrooms, do not fund the mandate or only require them in certain schools.

Congresswoman Meng has been a leader in combating period poverty throughout the United States, most notably introducing the Menstrual Equity For All Act year after year since 2018. Congresswoman Meng's bill includes: Giving states the option to use federal grant funds to provide students with free menstrual products in schools and incentivizing colleges and universities to implement pilot programs that provide free menstrual products to students, among many other components.

"No student should have to choose between their education and their dignity. It was because of one young woman in my district that I first learned about the issue of period poverty, and how some individuals cannot afford these products. Since then, I am proud to have championed the Menstrual Equity for All Act that is the first, whole-of-government approach to addressing period poverty. I will not stop fighting until we fully eradicate period poverty for women and girls everywhere," said Congresswoman Meng.

"Menstruating students are impacted by the crisis of period poverty. Research has shown that a shocking 1 in 4 students struggle to afford period products, and 4 in 5 menstruators missed school or know someone who has missed school due to a lack of access to period products. . Now is the time for Congress to deliver equitable assistance to students in need and provide menstrual products in schools," said Michela Bedard, Executive Director at PERIOD.

"No student should have to miss school, no adult should have to miss work, and no person should miss out on daily life because they cannot afford the material basic necessities they require to thrive. It's time for Congress to pass the Menstrual Equity for All Act and deliver equitable assistance to students in need," said Jennifer Gaines, Program Director at Alliance for Period Supplies.

Students in the United States continue to face considerable barriers in accessing menstrual products. Lack of access is evident across various demographic groups, with effects that include risk of infection, emotional anxiety, and logistical challenges that present significant short and long-term repercussions.

The press conference will also be streamed live on Zoom and on the @PeriodMovement Instagram page, promptly beginning at 11:05 AM ET.

Troy Moore
Alliance for Period Supplies
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