In August 2019, the Junior League of Wilmington announced their latest campaign, Stand Up. Period., which addresses period equity.
Menstrual – or period – equity refers to removing the barriers that prevent people, particularly those living in poverty, from being able to manage their menstrual cycles and participate fully in their lives. Those who lack adequate period supplies experience school and work absences, opportunity losses, and emotional distress. And while they are suffering, societal stigmas often preclude open discussions about period equity.
The JLW is committed to raising awareness of period equity in Wilmington and working towards ensuring individuals have affordable programs that provide period supplies.
The JLW is also committed to addressing the vital need through direct service and advocacy, and by building a coalition of individuals and organizations that can work collaboratively to eliminate period poverty in our state.
A year’s worth of period supplies costs the average person about $200. These products aren’t covered by government assistance programs like WIC or SNAP, and they aren’t eligible for purchase under federal flexible spending account or health savings account programs. People without adequate supplies miss out on school, work, and activities. The Junior League of Wilmington is prepared to provide essential supplies, and we will work to bring this issue to the forefront. Our hope is that a coalition of organizations serving this population will work together to eliminate period poverty in our City.
Download our infosheet for more information on our initiative!
Why Stand Up. Period.? We are standing up because we believe people deserve equitable access to period supplies. No one should miss out on life – school, sports, activities, work – because they lack the means for adequate pads and tampons. And because anyone with a period has experienced a moment where they wonder if their period protection was enough… we want to help them confidently Stand Up. Period.
Read our press release about our initiative here.
In October 2020, the JLW received its first donation from Alliance for Period Supplies of an astounding 69,000 pads and 56,000 liners! The JLW is currently preparing to distribute the donated pads and liners in the community to provide approximately 2,300 people with a month’s worth of supplies. Read more here.
Members of the community joined the JLW in October of 2019 for a community forum featuring Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, advocate and author of Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity. Weiss-Wolf believes in equitable access to affordable, safe menstrual products for all. She has fought to make toxin-free, menstrual products accessible, and she challenges the stigma of menstruation, arguing that periods should not hold anyone back.
Delaware House Bill 285
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PROVISION OF FREE FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS.
This bill requires all public and charter schools which have students in grades 6-12 to provide free feminine hygiene products in 50% of the bathrooms used by students who can have a menstrual cycle. This bill also requires schools to publish on its website and post in its common areas the locations of the bathrooms where the hygiene products are provided. Finally, this bill provides that each school must consult with its school nurse regarding the products to be provided.
What happens next? This bill will likely need to be reintroduced in the 151st General Assembly
Write a letter to your senator showing your support! Here is a sample.
Want to Support Our Efforts? The JLW is building programs that provide period supplies free of charge. We are actively seeking organizations interested in teaming with us to provide products, education, or advocacy help. Please contact Megan Cavanaugh, Community Impact Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss involvement.