According to the National Women’s Law Center more than 16.9 million American women live in poverty and struggle getting access to menstrual products and medications. Period poverty is a term that describes how women living in poverty have lack of access to feminine products and how they have to take care of their periods.
According to Healthline.com, the average female starts her period from age 11 to 14 and ends around age 51. The average menstrual cycle is from 24-38 days, and the average period lasts for four to eight days. This creates an extremely difficult situation for people in need of feminine care products. According to Bustle.com only 12% of young people around the world have access to the products that they need. Along with the many side effects of menstruating, periods cost women upward of two billion dollars each year in the United States.
In an attempt to end the stigma and be apart of the solution, the Midland Educational Services Association and The Diaper Alliance formed the idea of “Project Dottie.” This became implemented in Dow last year as a source of easily accessible period products for students.
“To help students who can’t afford it, but also just to help girls with one less thing to think about during their period, that they don’t have to worry about, ‘When am I going to get my supplies and go to the bathroom,`” counselor Lori Hallberg Said.
This project allows students to ask the office staff, or any counselors, for “Dottie” and they will be sent home with a paper bag of a month worth of period products. They are in the process of trying to put tampons into the bin, but meanwhile they will continue to restock with the supplies that are currently available. The counselor’s ask that students notify them when any of the bins need to be restocked.
For more information visit the project site PERIOD.org