What is The Flow Initiative?
The Flow Initiative is a grassroots non-profit whose purpose is eradicating period poverty (lack of affordability to period products), establishing menstrual equity (a lack of access to period products) and gender equality. We achieve this by donating period products, creating points of access to period products throughout Jersey City, New Jersey and throughout the United States and by raising awareness through education on this crisis shrouded in shame, stigma and silence.
What is the difference between period poverty and menstrual equity?
Period poverty is not having period products available because they are unaffordable, while menstrual equity is not having access to a period product regardless of your socio-economic status. For example, students, the homeless, the working poor and single mothers often suffer from period poverty because they do not have the money to buy products. They are often choosing between food, paying rent, the needs of their children, school books and can not make ends meet. While menstrual equity, can affect affluent people just as easily. The richest woman on the planet at some point has gotten her period, gone to a bathroom and not had access to a pad or tampon, because the bathroom was not equipped with those products.
What are some period poverty statistics in Jersey City/Hudson County and around the U.S?
The Flow Initiative Statistical Survey: Experiences in Period Poverty of 100 Jersey City High School Girls:
- 28% have missed school because of a lack of menstrual products. (National avg. is 20%)
- 90% have needed menstrual products while in school.
- 76% have had a menstrual accident while in school.
- 86% believe that a lack of period products affects a girl’s confidence and her ability to focus and learn.
The Flow Initiative Period Poverty Survey of 100 Women on Public Assistance in Hudson County:
- 62% felt that period products were not affordable.
- 42% said that their employer nor school offered access to period products.
- 73% said that they would benefit from free access to period products at work and/or school.
- 78% said that they feel embarrassed discussing their periods or period poverty.
You may learn more by visiting our website: www.theflowintiativefoundation.org where you can contact us and make monetary and/or in-kind donations to support their mission.
Eiko La Boria
Founder and CEO, The Flow Initiative
United State of Women Ambassador for Gender Equality, New Jersey