Did you know that 25 percent of women in the U.S. struggle to get access to the feminine care products they need during menstruation? That’s right; due to laws and regulations that restrict access to clean and safe period care, one quarter of American women—and others with periods who do not identify as women—struggle each month to take care of their bodies during a natural, unavoidable human cycle. Over a woman’s lifetime—about 60 days a year for 40 years—that adds up to 2,400 days spent menstruating.
In the U.S., 35 states currently impose sales tax on menstrual products. This is because, unlike first aid products, sunscreen, and even Viagra, items like tampons and pads weren’t viewed as basic human necessities when tax codes were written. This statistic is shocking, especially considering a survey of one college campus found that 52 percent of students reported missing class or work in the last year due to lack of sufficient period products. In the U.S., a female student may miss a lecture with minimal repercussions, but in developing countries, missing class because of her period can mean she’ll never go to school again, as shown in the Oscar-winning documentary Period. End of Sentence.
That’s why, in honor of National Women’s Health Week, we’re joining forces with PERIOD, a youth-run nonprofit working to end period poverty, and Seventh Generation, a company bringing cleaner and greener period care products to women in the U.S.
From May 12–18, 2019, all money donated by members at checkout will go directly to PERIOD, helping them continue their fight against period poverty and the tampon tax. Thrive Gives will also donate all tax paid on purchases of feminine care products directly to PERIOD. Finally, our friends at Seventh Generation have partnered with us to donate $3,000 worth of feminine care products to PERIOD.
“The tampon tax is not the issue that will solve period poverty, but it sends a message that menstrual hygiene is necessary and it’s a right,” says Nadya Okamato, the 21-year-old who founded PERIOD when she was just 16. “It’s something that happens to the majority of the global population for an average of 40 years of life and it makes human life possible. It’s not something that should be treated with shame and stigma; it should be normalized.”