In 2019, one-in-four teens in the U.S. missed school due to a lack of access to period supplies. In the same year, 46% of female students in public grades 7-12 attended Title I eligible schools. A 2019 survey of 693 women who attended U.S. high schools found that nearly 24% were forced to leave school early due to a lack of access to feminine hygiene products, and nearly 13% reported that they missed school when they were menstruating and couldn’t access supplies.
Bill HB50, originally presented by Rep. Rolanda Hollis, partially addressed this issue and supported using a portion of money from the “general fund” budget to create grants provided to schools.
Though this bill makes significant advancements in the menstrual equity sphere, it does not fully address the needs of menstruators in the state. Importantly, individuals experiencing period poverty are not unique to Title I schools. Not everyone facing economic insecurity will attend Title I schools. In addition, economic insecurity is not the only predictor of period poverty. There are still menstruators whose needs will not be addressed by this bill.
The necessary tools to support health should be a right and not a privilege. A basic, biological function should not restrict individuals from experiencing their education to the fullest.
AL4ME is a campaign to bring menstrual equity to Alabama through four key policies, including the provision of free products in all Alabama K-12 public schools.
PERIOD. @ Auburn, AL and partners femPAQ and MOnthly have formed an alliance to create long-term, self-sustaining community change in the field of (M)enstrual (E)quity by developing and utilizing relevant research to inform fundraising efforts and necessary legislative change for the state of Alabama.
Please help us by providing accessible menstrual hygiene care to middle and high schools in the state of Alabama. Give to Alabama schools at aub.ie/AL4ME and donate to our campaign. $20 can help support four students.
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Menstruating students shouldn't have to sacrifice their education due to inadequate period care products. We have a solution.
Let's help to create menstrual equity in Alabama!
Editor's note: The AL4ME campaign, run by the youth-led NPO, PERIOD., alongside The MOnthly Project, FemPAQ and Sustainability Capstone course students, is working to advance menstrual equity in Alabama.
By raising support for 4 key policies and gathering funds for period products for Alabama schools, the coalition hopes to keep Alabama students in class and recognize the humanity of menstruators in shelters, prisons, schools and beyond. Visit aub.ie/AL4ME to learn more about the impact of period poverty in Alabama and donate to keep students in school! Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors.
These opinions do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees.
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