Next up in our series of period powerful profiles we have Molly and Nell, founders of Preventing Period Poverty.
Preventing period poverty is a non-profit organisation pushing for changes in the UK surrounding period products and their availability. The aim of the organisation is to help people in period poverty and a make a change, no matter how big or small.
We chatted to the founders, Molly and Nell about Preventing Period Poverty and also why they think it’s important to challenge period taboos/stigmas.
Can you tell us a bit about your roles in the organisation?
“Preventing Period Poverty is founded and run by two close friends, that being Molly and Nell. We work very closely but on different sides of the organisation, with Molly looking after social media and communications and Nell dealing with the nitty-gritty ideas and our lobbying.
What motivated you to start Preventing Period Poverty?
Our organisation was born out of a politics A-level class and a throwaway comment from our teacher! We were studying pressure groups in the UK and our teacher said ‘well why don’t you guys make a pressure group’, and so Nell and I went off and brainstormed. It wasn’t hard to decide upon period poverty. Although we personally hadn’t experienced it, we were aware of it not only in the UK but around the globe. It was something that, as women, we felt was very important to address.
How prevalent is period poverty in the UK?
Period poverty is a lot more prevalent in the UK than most people think. 1 in 10 girls cannot afford sanitary products, that’s 1 in 10 girls dreading their period every cycle. On top of that, homelessness is generally on the rise in the UK and with that rises period poverty. Women living on the streets don’t have easy access to products and so are left with no choice but to free bleed or use other objects, which are often very un-sanitary, to soak up their periods
What can we expect to see from the organisation?
Preventing Period Poverty is very young, but we have made great progress. Our engagement from followers is more than we could have ever hoped for, and this is really aiding us to spread our cause. In addition to this, we are working with political advisors and other organisations to help lobby the government. So, I would say expect some really good stuff from us! We are thrilled with the number of other groups that are willing to work with us and help make a change.
Why do you think it’s important to challenge period taboos/stigmas?
We think it immensely important to challenge the stigma surrounding menstruation for several reasons. Periods are the most natural and important thing the female body can do! It brings life, without it no one would be alive! So, we want to challenge the idea that periods are dirty and unnatural. Many girls in the UK and around the world also receive very swift and not detailed enough education on their cycle, and that’s if they even get the education. The best way to tackle a stigma is to educate. We believe so highly in the positives from education, especially from educating young women. If we can help educate young women then we can make improvements on so many issues.