On October 19, 2019, local activists are joining a 50 state rally in support of the first. international #NationalPeriodDay. The event is intended to highlight an issue they characterize as "period poverty" -- working to improve accessibility to menstrual products for all women.
A central component the group is targeting is what they call a "Tampon Tax," throwing into a national spotlight the fact that 35 US States still charge a sales tax on period products, classifying them as non-essential items. A January 2019 Reuters report on the research sponsored through the medical journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, revealed the following facts:
"A survey of low-income women in a large U.S. city finds that nearly two-thirds couldn’t afford menstrual hygiene products such as tampons or pads during the previous year. More than one in five women said they had this problem every month, researchers report in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Instead, the women said they made do with cloth, rags, tissues, toilet paper and sometimes even diapers or paper towels taken from public bathrooms. Nearly half the women said there were times in the past year when they could not afford to buy both food and period products."
Locally, The rally will take place beginning at 3PM on Saturday, October 19th, at the Plot in the NEON District. Organizers have informed us that their intention is to hold an inclusive event, welcoming both marginalized women and allies alike. Donation of supplies are being collected at collection centers around the city, with monetary contributions being accepted via the national website at period.org/donate
Local sponsors of the event thus far include:
- ACLU of VA, Nicole Tortoriello
- Close-Knit Communities, Shanise Williams
- Generation Action Hampton U
- The Junior League, Norfolk, VB, Amanda Llyod
- @jymmyyy, Jym
- Nomarama, Jarrell Williams
- Teens with a Purpose
- YWCA of South Hampton Roads, Jazmine Smith
- ZincGirlz, Azaria Cherry
For more information, collection center location info, or to volunteer -- check out their Facebook event page here.
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