Menstrual Equity For All
Menstrual Equity For All
The Flow Initiative is proud to host a Back To School Girl Power event on Friday, September 1 at 2pm at the Jersey City Free Public Library (JCFPL) Miller Branch Auditorium. As a national organization dedicated to eradicating period poverty and accelerating access to menstrual health products, The Flow Initiative is committed to empowering girls during the school year.
Founded by Eiko La Boria, The Flow Initiative is a national menstrual health organization that has distributed more than 1 million products to women, girls, and the LGBTQ+ community. La Boria works with her partner, Sabrina Browne, to conduct educational workshops on menstrual health, advance menstrual health legislation, and partner with local and national organizations to reach those in need. La Boria and Browne have made an impact from New Jersey to Turkey, working to achieve menstrual equity for all, and the back to school event is the latest initiative to empower the local community.
Nationwide, 1 in 5 American girls has missed school due to a lack of access to menstrual health products. More than two in five people with periods say they have struggled to purchase menstrual health products due to a lack of income at some point in their life. Between 2018 and 2021, that number increased by 35%, and with post-pandemic conditions, this number is only expected to increase, impacting girls at school, work, and society at large.
"We want to help end period poverty in school and tackle the barriers to access associated with all those who menstruate to get products," said Browne. "Nationwide, an estimated 16.9 million people who menstruate living in poverty in the United States, according to the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. We're committed to increasing menstrual health access in Jersey City, and this back to school event is the latest example of our mission in action."
Beyond the back to school event, The Flow Initiative and JCFPL have worked together on various initiatives to help residents and organizations. In July 2023, JCFPL partnered with The Flow Initiative to supply period kits and menstrual health products at each branch. The kits will include tampons, sanitary napkins, and cleansing wipes and will be available during curbside pickup hours. To get a kit, residents can visit their nearest JCFPL library and ask a staff member for a free kit.
While period poverty is relatively new in some U.S. communities, lack of access to menstrual health products has been an ongoing issue in New Jersey. In fact, The Flow Initiative's State of The Flow Survey found 52% of students have had a menstrual accident because they did not have access to menstrual health products. At the same time, 74% of students said that they would benefit from access to free menstrual health products outside of school.
"Period poverty is exacerbated because menstrual health products are typically not publicly funded in budgets for schools, shelters, and crisis emergency centers. On the other side of period poverty lies menstrual equity. Continuing to push what the true face of access to menstrual products is will normalize this everyday occurrence that affects millions of people on any given day. " said La Boria. "As a national leader in the menstrual health movement, it's imperative to raise awareness on this issue, starting in our Jersey City community. Periods don't stop when a student leaves school, and they need enough products to manage their entire menstrual cycle. We're proud to support our students with menstrual health products and education, and we look forward to ending period poverty one school at a time."
The event is free to attend, and back to school bookbags will be provided to students with menstrual health products, body and beauty care, and other items. The event sponsors include Amigas Inc., Community Treasures of Jersey City, Defense For Her, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Sheild of New Jersey, Jersey City Moms, Jersey City Women's Advisory Board, Love Locked, The State of New Jersey, and Wonder Girls USA. To become an event sponsor, contact La Boria at email@example.com.
For in-kind product donations, please contact Sabrina Browne, Partner at The Flow Initiative to get involved.
Nationwide, 1 in 5 Americans girls has missed school due to a lack of access to menstrual products. The Flow Initiative has donated more than 1 million products since its inception in 2019, and your financial donations will empower us to continue serving the communities where we live and operate.