Global Celebrities Take a Stand Against ‘Period Poverty’ on Menstrual Hygiene Day

Published on May 27, 2021

May 28th is Global Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) and since this day was declared in 2014, there has been a steep increase of organizations and voices working together on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)—to normalize conversations surrounding menstrual hygiene—as well as to meet the need for menstrual hygiene products around the world. This need is known as “period poverty”.

Period poverty affects millions of girls and women in the United States and around the world. 30 states in the U.S. have a tax on menstrual hygiene products because they are considered “unessential” goods. This contributes to the financial burden on low-income women and families who may have to choose between purchasing food for their children or feminine hygiene products. As a result, girls may miss school while on their periods—women may miss work. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, one in ten African girls do not attend school during menstruation. We cannot allow this burden to continue to affect the lives of millions around the world.

With an increased awareness of period poverty surging, a non-profit organization, CouldYou? has emerged as a respected voice advocating for the end of period poverty. CouldYou? Was formed in 2008 by Christine Garde Denning who is one of Forbes’ “Forty Over 40” women making a global impact. CouldYou? partners with local leaders, NGO’s and governments to provide poverty solutions.

For Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, CouldYou? Cup is partnering with World Artists United and Kwasi Asare, to present its Virtual Menstrual Hygiene Day activities. CouldYou? will be sponsoring a hybrid of virtual and in-person events.

CouldYou’s main event on May 28th at 2:00 p.m. PST will be held virtually and features live appearances and performances by Jerry Wonda with special surprise guest, along with Ghana’s Joselyn Dumas, South Africa’s Brian Temba and Gigi Lamayne, Mozambique’s Cuca and Argentina’s sensation Brenda Asnicar. Register for this free event here.

In connection with Menstrual Hygiene Day, CouldYou? is providing the opportunity to provide a CouldYou? Cup for an underserved girl or woman in Africa with a donation of $10, as well as a “Get a Cup Give a Cup” option for a $28 donation.  All of the details on the virtual event, along with the opportunities to send a Cup to a girl in need are available at this link.

On-the-ground activities will take place in Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, with generous support and funding provided by Ghana Health Services, Engineers without Borders, the French Embassy, Positivo Mozambique, Ministries of Gender and Health and other individuals and NGO’s. Each country will also have TV and Radio broadcasts.

Additionally, CouldYou? is partnering with global media developer Kwasi Asare for a virtual discussion on Clubhouse at 3:00 p.m. PST in the UN 75 Club that Mr. Asare founded. The conversation will include Founder and CEO, Christine Garde Denning, World Artists United’s Jalen James and Rachel Karry, US activist Lorna Johnson, Arora Akanksha and several others. Click here for more information on the Clubhouse event schedule and program. 

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In 2017, the CouldYou? Girls’ Health Initiative launched to sustainably address the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) needs of women and girls in Africa working to provide immediate access to health education and menstrual cups. CouldYou?’s education and cups are provided primarily in Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Liberia and the United States. The CouldYou? Cups come with carrying bags sewn by 10-17-year-old girls who are transitioning out of the sex trade in Uganda.

In 2021, CouldYou? acquired its own CouldYou? Cup mold and began manufacturing at an ISO certified facility in the United States. The cup is 100% medical-grade silicone and FDA certified.The Cup is the safest, most economically and environmentally friendly choice for Menstrual Hygiene Management. These cups last for up to 10 years and require minimal water for washing. Prior to 2021, CouldYou? partnered with other menstrual cup manufacturing companies to distribute the menstrual cup and provide health education to marginalized girls and women.

Phil Vandermost is a writer, consultant and owner of PVA Strategic Communications, a public affairs advisory firm working with companies and public agencies in California. He has authored numerous articles on topics ranging from the environment, architecture, construction and sustainable energy. In his spare time, Vandermost is a singer/songwriter and performing artist.

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