May 24-31, 2021: Period Poverty Awareness Week

WHEREAS, half of the population will likely menstruate each month for decades of their lives; and,

 

WHEREAS, menstrual supplies are a necessity each month for people who menstruate; and,

 

WHEREAS, lack of menstrual supplies, known as period poverty, can adversely affect the health and well-being of menstruating people; and,

 

WHEREAS, national studies report that one in four women and girls struggle to purchase menstrual supplies each month due to lack of income, and one in five women and girls miss work or school as a result; and,

 

 

WHEREAS, period poverty exacerbates the vicious cycle of poverty by forcing menstruators to withdraw from daily life, losing pay or missing educational opportunities; and,

 

WHEREAS, menstruators struggling with period poverty risk infections by substituting products - such as socks or toilet paper - or not changing products as often as needed; and,

 

WHEREAS, period poverty is a public health and health equity issue, and addressing access to period products for all people can lead to improved health for menstruators and economic opportunity for individuals and communities to thrive and reach their full potential; and,

 

WHEREAS, local, state and federal policies can exacerbate period poverty and equitable access to period products by imposing sales taxes on menstrual products, not providing products in institutions such as prisons and jails, exempting menstrual products from public health benefits and poverty programs, and not making products available in public restrooms, public schools, and homeless shelters; and,

 

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people out of work and worsened socio-economic and health challenges of those struggling with period poverty; and,

 

WHEREAS, access to period products is essential to the health and economic well-being of individuals facing period poverty in overcoming and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic; and,

 

WHEREAS, Michigan is proud to have trusted community-based organizations, including The Metropolitan Detroit Diaper Bank, that recognize the importance of period products in ensuring health, providing economic stability, and distributing period products through various channels; and,

 

WHEREAS, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the need for period products, and these community banks, their staff, and volunteers have worked diligently to increase period products distribution and support to those in need; and,

 

WHEREAS, this week is designated to recognize the importance of addressing period poverty to promote health equity across the state and ensure the health and well-being of all people who menstruate, to thank organizations committed to resolving this fundamental issue in our state, and to encourage Michiganders to donate to period supply banks, product drives, and organizations that collect and distribute period products for those struggling with period poverty;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 24-31, 2021 as Period Poverty Awareness Week in Michigan.