Today, March 8, marks the 109th International Women's Day, and to coincide with commemoration for the movement of women's rights, period care brand Freda are advocating for the free provision of essential female hygiene products in the workplace.
In an age when on-site gyms, beer on tap and dedicated nap zones are enjoyed by employees of some of the world's biggest companies, it's a wonder why so many are failing to cater for the most basic needs of their female staff.
Pads, tampons amd menstrual cups are vital part of women's daily routines and are essential for full participation in day-to-day activities.
Research show that 86 per cent of women have experienced an unexpected period, leaving them stressed, anxious and embarrassed when they do not have an emergency stash of period products on hand.
“Societal taboos and stigma have meant that the menstrual needs of women have so far been overlooked. In 2018, period products should be regarded as an essential, and budgeted for accordingly – after all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper, or buy it from vending machines. Tampon smuggling has to stop!”, says Freda founder Affi Parvizi-Wayne
“Once you start thinking about it, it becomes a no-brainer, and it’s encouraging that progressive companies like Google and Spotify are beginning to take women’s needs into account. This small step sends a big message to employees”, adds Parvizi-Wayne.
With its Period Manifesto, Freda hope to encourage an open and honest discussion around periods and the needs of women, removing any stigma and normalising menstruation.
They advocate that:
Period products are an essential not a luxury
Periods are a sign of health
Periods are normal, not shameful
Periods are private, not secret
Transparency of ingredients for such an intimate product
Period products should be sustainable and responsible
With 2 billion women and girls menstruating monthly, it's astonishing that many still feel shamed and embarrassed by the natural occurrence.
By opening the conversation at work and at schools and by making period products freely and readily available to all, we can change old attitudes and break taboos once and for all.