Youth Takeover: Activists and Policymakers Take on Issue of ‘Period Poverty’

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menstrual pads and tampons

One in five people who menstruate in the U.S. struggle with their periods every month due to lack of access to hygienic menstrual products, according to a 2019 study on the “State of the Period”. This issue, known as period poverty, has resulted in other discouraging statistics -- one in four teens in the U.S. say they have missed school because of poor access to menstrual products. In California, menstrual products are now tax-free through the end of 2023, and legislators and many young activists are working to make free menstrual products available in schools and public agencies. Meanwhile, countries like Scotland and New Zealand have made tampons and pads free. In this student-produced segment for KQED’s annual Youth Takeover week, we look at the latest efforts to address period poverty and the overall stigma surrounding menstruation


Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, co-founder, Period Equity; vice president for development and inaugural Women and Democracy Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice

Amanda Safi, first year student, UC Santa Cruz; spearheads the Period Equity Project

Chelsea VonChaz, founder, Happy Period

Aimee Condon, KQED's Youth Advisory Board member; sophomore, Hillsdale High School in San Mateo