EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Conversations surrounding menstruation and access to period products are essential and becoming increasingly normalized in the Borderland.
The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is participating in International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 on May 28 and is inviting the community to join.
The YWCA will be collecting period products at all local locations through May 28, and also has an Amazon Wishlist.
“There’s people who have to choose between if I’m going to buy a box of pads or if I’m going to buy food,” said Kayla Suarez, Communications Manager for YWCA El Paso.
The products will support people in the YWCA’s Transitional Living Center for women and children survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of violence, as well as its Rapid Rehousing Program for people and families emerging from homelessness, the Teen Leadership Program, and more.
Two-thirds of low income people who menstruate in the U.S. face problems affording or accessing menstrual hygiene products.
Menstruation is a normal and healthy biological process for millions of people, and yet remains stigmatized.
Suarez notes that people who are menstruating will often conceal the fact that they’re on their period, hide tampons and pads, become uncomfortable discussing the topic, and some even view it as disgusting or dirty. In fact, 80 percent of teens report feeling that periods are gross or unsanitary.
Lack of access to period products impacts millions in the U.S., with two-thirds of low income people struggling to afford period products.
Moreover, 25 percent of teens have missed school because they lack access to period products.
“Beyond just having the products available, we’re trying to have these conversations so people don’t feel weird about saying, ‘I need a pad’ or ‘I’m on my period,’” said Suarez.
The YWCA will be collecting donations of period products year-round and says a combination of education and supporting these products to people who need them will help reduce local stigma.
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