How much do you know about the period cycle - Does 5/28 ring a bell? On average, most women experience their period for 5 days out of the 28 total days of their cycle. This makes May 28th a symbolic date! If you didn’t already know, May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day - or MH Day for short.
Why is Menstrual Hygiene Day Important?
The world truly needs this annual awareness day. At a young age, girls are pressured to privately and discreetly manage their periods, essentially being conditioned to think that their bodies are to be ashamed of. 60% of women in the Blume community expressed that their self esteem plummeted going through puberty, which is a result of centuries of normalized stigmas regarding vaginas and women’s health. They’re taught to discreetly exchange tampons at school, and to avoid conversation in an attempt to save others from discomfort. Also, why are menstrual products taxed as luxury goods in some states? We even hide the proper term ‘menstruation’ behind the simplified version known as the ‘period’. These are all patriarchal attempts to silence women, and it can be a big chore to unpack and dismantle.
The Menstrual Movement has recently made powerful strides thanks to non profit organizations, bills, and documentaries like the Oscar winning Period. End of a Sentence. The documentary sheds light on the menstrual taboos for girls and women living in a rural village outside of Delhi, India. Period. End of Sentence winning one of Hollywood’s most sought after awards proves to the rest of the world that periods are not shameful and they don't need to be hidden in the dark. As well, all public schools in British Columbia are now required to provide free menstrual products to students by 2019! States like NY and Chicago are doing the same. This ensures easy access and education for young girls, making sure that they never have to miss school due to a lack of products or funds. Despite these huge triumphs, there are still 500 million women worldwide who lack access to basic period products. Blume is hell-bent on changing this, but we can’t do it alone.
Menstrual Hygiene Day exists to change the stigmas and taboos associated with periods - we want to switch the narrative on how women are told to feel about their periods as well as their bodies. We want girls to grow up celebrating puberty and growth, and we want women to think of their cycles as beautiful and powerful on a global scale.
How Can You Make a Difference?
For the entire month of May we’re donating 1 Days for Girls Period Kit to a girl who needs it most for every purchase of Cloud 9. These kits include sustainable period products and educational resources on menstrual hygiene. Each Period Kit provides 3 years worth of washable and sustainable period products, which is enough to ensure a girl does not miss out on school or work due to their cycles. Aside from providing girls with the necessities, these kits also promote open dialogue regarding health, leadership and safety.
One Period Kit gives young girls and women the opportunity to manage their periods with dignity, which translates to 1,095 days of opportunity, empowerment, and health. This is a stepping stone to tackling the stigma, shame and misconception that circulates around periods. It’s time to ensure that the next generation of girls owns their menstrual health, one period kit at a time.