Mission Menstruation attended MI-PAD Rally Day, October 9, 2021 on the Michigan Capitol Mall. Young people from all over the state came together to talk about period stigma and learn how they can help their own communities. We’re so excited to share what we learned!
What is Period Action Day?
Started in 2019, by the non-profit organization PERIOD., the second Saturday of every October is dedicated to the fight against period poverty. Period Action Day (also known as PAD) is a day for communities to band together and take action against the stigma surrounding menstruation. PAD celebrates the activists around the world who work tirelessly each day to further this critical movement.
Why Was Period Action Day Started?
Period Action Day was started to call attention to the different ways in which period poverty affects menstruators around the world. According to PERIOD., nearly 1 in 4 students in the United States do not have access to period products. Not only does this cause students to miss classes each month, but it affects their grades and ability to focus on school work.
Period Action Day also highlights the inequities created by the tampon tax. The tampon tax categorizes menstrual products as non-essential or “luxury” items in over 20 states across the country, including Michigan. According to an article by NPR, most states do not tax medical and health supplies, due to the fact that these are essential for quality of life. Period products are often excluded from those tax-exempt categories. If medical devices, medications and even protein drinks/supplements aren’t taxed, why should tampons and pads be? Periods are not a luxury.
Period Action Day and Period Stigma
It is time to shift the narrative surrounding periods away from the shameful connotation they carry. Even though periods are a completely normal bodily function, many menstruators do not feel comfortable to discuss their experiences and issues out loud. If 26% of the population menstruates, why are periods still such a taboo topic? By celebrating and participating in Period Action Day, activists and leaders around the globe are helping to combat the stigma surrounding periods. Education and awareness are two major ways in which we can normalize periods – and all the painful, and even beautiful experiences that come with them.
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