On October 19th, 2019, rallies and protests all across the nation celebrated the first ever National Period Day! The Gender Equity Association and Student Activist Club were privileged to be able to help lead and organize the Madison, Wisconsin rally in downtown Madison right next to the State Capitol. The leaders of the movement were Maggie Di Sanza and Anika Sanyal. It was a day full of protest, speakers, chants, outreach, community, and youth voice. It was an incredibly empowering experience. In the process, the volunteers and attendants made over 50 periods packs, serving over 50 periods in the Madison Community for those who do not have access to menstrual products.
October 19th was a special day, as it represents thousands of people across the country prioritizing menstrual equity. Because 1 in 4 women misses school in the United States due to their periods; because 30% of the menstruating population has trouble affording period products; because viagra is taxed as a necessity and tampons are taxed as a luxury; because the English language has over 40 euphemisms for the word ‘menstruation.’ For too long, menstruating people have been subject to unjust taxes and government neglect.
These rallies were just the beginning; more rallies, bills, legislation, education, seminars, speeches and outreach is to come. The menstrual movement is growing, ignoring it is not an option. It is time to be outspoken: vote, force people to listen, educate yourself, and demand menstrual equity.
By Maggie Di Sanza