Director of Programs
We’re celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day all week, by looking back on the progress we have made for period equity since Women’s Voices for the Earth organized a rally and lobby day in DC one year ago. The rally focused on our right to safe feminine care products with women from all over the nation joining us, including our Detox the Box partners WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Black Women for Wellness, Turning Green, Period Equity, and the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, and our business partner Seventh Generation.
In the past year, there has been a lot of momentum on this issue and it will only continue to grow as more people raise their voice for menstrual equity. Look how far we have come!
- Legislation was introduced in New York by Linda B. Rosenthal that would require disclosure of ingredients in period products.
- Women across the country are holding Detox the Box Action Parties.
- We launched a series of viral videos for our Summer’s Deceive campaign (please share!). And environmental, health, justice organizations from across the nation have joined us to express alarm about the lack of ingredient transparency, and toxic chemicals, in Summer’s Eve products.
- Procter & Gamble announced they would start disclosing fragrance ingredients in all of their products, including feminine care products!
- Rep. Grace Meng has worked the Washington DC political process and convinced her colleagues on the House Appropriations committee to include a specific request to the FDA to respond to WVE’s petition on colorants in feminine care wash in an amendment to key appropriations legislation. She also succeeded in adding a provision requiring a report on menstrual hygiene product availability access in our international aid programs. The appropriations bill passed the committee and the request to the FDA is official!
- As a result of a request made by Rep. Grace Meng, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has directed all federal prisons to give women free tampons, pads, and panty liners.
- There are now nine states, plus Washington D.C., that specifically exempt feminine hygiene products from taxation.
- Women in South Korea are demanding the government do more to ensure the safety of pads. As a result, the government is testing over 800 types of menstrual products and a class action lawsuit against a manufacturer of pads has been filed on behalf of women who have said they have experienced adverse reactions from the product.
- Women moved two of the world’s largest feminine care manufacturers, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark, to start disclosing ingredients in their pads and tampons, information that was previous kept secret.
- In 2017, ingredient disclosure and toxic chemicals in menstrual products made headlines in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, La Opinion and more.
All of this was possible because YOU RAISED YOUR VOICES! When we can talk openly about periods, we can convince policy makers and corporations to ensure that menstrual products are safe, affordable and accessible. That’s why it is so encouraging (and so important) to see the conversation on periods and period health move into the mainstream. Because that conversation is MOVING the mainstream. We greatly appreciate the work of women everywhere who by taking control of their bodies are helping to create a healthier world for people everywhere. And I cannot wait to see what we will do together next. Stay updated and motivated by clicking here.