The dearth of adequate menstrual hygiene has been declared a public health, gender equality, and human rights issue by the United Nations, inspiring waves of activism and innovation in underdeveloped countries. In the United States, this problem is extremely prevalent among incarcerated and homeless women who face infection and toxic shock syndrome from lack of access to appropriate products. In The United States, feminine products are a $2 billion dollar industry, in part from the “tampon tax”--where tampons and other feminine hygiene products are not tax exempt like many other medical products. These 40 states that impose the tax set a national precedent that women’s wellness is not a priority in the American political conscience and underscores the lack of female representation in the economic and political institutions that control these economies. While this effects of these structures are felt all around the country, we believe that true change starts at home--on our very own campus. By starting a club to distribute menstrual products and increase awareness about women’s health issues, we can, as a community, reclaim our womanhood and reduce Haverford’s complicity in this nuanced problem.
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