3 women’s stories to tackle period poverty

It’s difficult to for those of us in privileged positions to imagine a life on the streets. It’s even more difficult to envision the absence of basic sanitary products in such a situation – the harsh reality for many homeless women across the globe.

With limited or no access to basic sanitary products, some women have no choice but to go without the comfort of cleanliness and are forced to resort to alternative options such as plastic bags or rags of clothes – something that should not be a normality for anyone.

But things are changing. Across the UK, many people are committing time and energy to ensure that homeless women can maintain a sense of dignity during their period.

We’re using International Women’s Day to highlight some of those people and the fantastic causes they represent, including ways that you can support each one.

Bimini Love, Street Cramps

women project to tackle poverty period

At just 15 years old, Bimini Love from Cornwall founded Street Cramps, a crowdfunded campaign that provides homeless women with monthly boxes of essential sanitary products. Talking about the wider issue at TedxTruro in 2017, she says “nobody should have to decide whether to have a pad, or whether to have lunch. It is demoralising and it makes living on the streets worse than ever”.

How you can help… you can visit Bimini’s website here for options to donate in person or online.

Project Period

Distinguishing itself from London’s notorious black cabs, the Tampon Taxi took to the capital’s streets last Christmas to distribute over 5,000 sanitary products to women’s shelters. The taxi, owned by the movement Project Period, was thought up by Holly Bantleman. Talking to The Independent last year, she says, “it is a great way to get the public engaged in an issue that they may not know about. It is a bit of a shock tactic for some people, but its working, the conversation online has been pretty electric.

How you can help… though you’re currently unable to donate to Project Period, you can “make your period promise” by signing up to alerts on the website.

Bloody Good Period

Bloody Good Period was set up by Gabby Edlin after what started out as a whip-round on Facebook. Now with a following of nearly 9,000 on Twitter, the Bloody Good Period provide 25 asylum seeker drop ins across London and Leeds.

In an interview with Liberty London, Gabby says the main challenge they face today is still centred around destigmatisation: “the taboos and stigmas and silences we’re battling are centuries old, though, which is a pretty challenging habit to break, so it can be difficult getting the people in power to listen and act.”

How you can help… there are a few options to support Bloody Good Period. To donate money, purchase something from their Amazon wishlist or sponsor a period, click here. To volunteer your time, click here. Or to purchase something from the Bloody Good Period online shop, click here.

This blog post has been written by Maddie Broxup

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