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Celebrity Solutions to Period PovertyCombinations of cultural stigmas and taboos, lack of access to menstrual products and inadequate sanitation facilities all contribute to period poverty. UNICEF highlights that 2.3 billion people across the world still do not have access to basic sanitation services. Each day, 800 million women and girls menstruate yet these barriers hinder them from properly managing their menstruation. Celebrity solutions to period poverty hope to address this global issue.

Period Poverty

The umbrella term of period poverty is used to describe “the inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and educations, including but not limited to sanitary products, washing facilities and waste management.” Oftentimes, women and young girls in countries that prominently experience this form of poverty are ostracized from activities such as socializing or eating particular foods. Furthermore, the cultural shame that menstruators carry with them hinders them from going to school and work. Generally, this results in girls being uneducated, further exacerbating the cycle of poverty. As the issue of period poverty increases, celebrity solutions to period poverty help raise awareness and look toward ways to reduce period poverty.

Celebrities Fighting Period Poverty

  1. Hilary Duff. In 2019, actress Hilary Duff partnered with Naturalena Brands and launched Veeda, a 100% natural period product line. Duff made it her mission to provide affordable and quality menstrual products for women and girls around the world. She spoke about period poverty in an interview with the Morning Show, “It is horrifying that something like your period is holding girls back from being able to go to school for a week every single month because they don’t have access to proper supplies.” Veeda works closely with the Naturalena Foundation which had donated more than three million feminine hygiene products to more than 10 countries.
  2. Gina Rodriguez. Actress Gina Rodriguez wrote an article for Teen Vogue in August 2018 in which she reflected on how different her life would have been if she had personally been impacted by period poverty. After learning about how many girls could not go to school because of their menstrual cycles, Rodriguez partnered with Always for the #EndPeriodPoverty campaign. The campaign aims to ensure that women and girls always feel supported so that their periods do not hold them back from living up to their fullest potential. Though the campaign addresses period poverty in the United States, it serves to raise awareness about the global issue of period poverty so that more people can become involved to take action globally.
  3. Amika George. In 2018, British activist Amika George was nominated for Teen Vogue’s “21 under 21” list by actor Emma Watson for her work toward achieving menstrual equality and ending period poverty. At the age of 17, after realizing that girls in the U.K. were not attending school because they were unable to afford period products to manage their menstruation, George started the campaign Free Periods to end period poverty. She also started a petition that received more than 200,000 signatures. This created awareness of the issue and resulted in a period poverty protest of 2,000 people outside the residence of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

These celebrity solutions to period poverty help create awareness and address a global issue that prevents girls and women around the world from reaching their full potential.

Meghana Nagendra
Photo: Flickr

young advocates

Today, some of the most innovative, forward-thinking change-makers happen to be under the age of 18. Keep reading to learn more about these three top young advocates who are doing their part to address global issues from poverty to gender equality and education.

3 Young Advocates Who are Changing the World

  1. Zuriel Oduwole
    Since the age of 10, Zuriel Oduwole has been using her voice to spread awareness about the importance of educating young girls in developing countries. Now 17 years old, Oduwole has made a difference in girls’ education and gender issues in Africa by meeting with and interviewing important political figures like presidents, prime ministers and first ladies. To date, Oduwole has spoken in 14 countries to address the importance of educating young girls in developing countries, including Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria. “They need an education so they can have good jobs when they get older,” Oduwole said in a 2013 interview with Forbes. “Especially the girl child. I am really hoping that with the interviews I do with presidents, they would see that an African girl child like me is doing things that girls in their countries can do also.”
  2. Yash Gupta
    After breaking his glasses as a high school freshman, Yash Gupta realized how much seeing affects education. He did some research and found out that millions of children do not have access to prescription lenses that would help them to excel in their studies. Gupta then founded Sight Learning, a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes eyeglasses to children in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti and India.

  3. Amika George
    At the age of 18, Amika George led a protest outside of former U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s home to convince policymakers to end “period poverty.” Period poverty is the unavailability of feminine sanitary products for girls who cannot afford them. Girls who can’t afford these products are often left to use rags or wads of tissue, which not only raises health concerns but also keeps girls from their education. In order to combat this issue, George created a petition with the goal for schools to provide feminine products to girls who receive a free or reduced lunch. As of now, George has mobilized over 200,000 signatures and helped catapult the conversation of period poverty at the political level in the U.K.

These three world-changing children prove that age does not matter when it comes to making a difference in the world.

Juliette Lopez
Photo: Flickr