Period. End of Sentence just took home the Oscar for Best Short Documentary. The 26-minute film, which can be viewed on Netflix, shines light on the stigma around menstruation and how a group of women create low-cost sanitary pads to create financial independence while also improving feminine hygiene in their village.
Without access to sanitary products, women and girls around the world are forced to miss school and/or work. Days for Girls (DFG), an organization working to increase access to menstrual care, shares that 113 million adolescent girls in India, 1 in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 30% of girls in rural Brazil will miss school this year due to their period. Girls and women will often resort to using rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers, and even cow dung to manage their menstruation (daysforgirls.org). And, 23 percent of girls completely drop out of school when they hit puberty due to their inability to manage their periods.
Women in the bleeding disorders community depend on access to sanitary products to help them manage their disorder and have a unique understanding of how a lack of products could severely limit one’s livelihood.
Which is why HFM has partnered with Days for Girls to provide reusable sanitary pads for women and girls around the globe. When women and girls are able to manage their periods, they have the freedom to fully integrate into their communities and lead a life of independence. Beyond access to sanitary pads, HFM and DFG are also working to reduce the stigma of menstruation by increasing education and conversation around periods. HFM’s Days For Girls just completed their first 100 kits to send to women in the bleeding disorders communities in the Philippines and Nigeria.
We hope you will consider joining the effort to end period poverty and support women and girls’ freedom and independence.
HFM’s next Days for Girls Work Day and Potluck is Saturday, April 13 from 10am-4pm. Please RSVP to Shari Luckey at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to attend but would like to support the work, please consider purchasing an item off HFM’s DFG wish list: www.hfmich.org/dfgwishlist.