Like many of us who take for granted the accessibility to feminine products (or products in general), Gina Rodriguez had no idea the scarcity of such items especially in schools. One of the biggest factors that has caused young girls to sacrifice their education due to school budget cuts is not having access to feminine products, which should be a right not a privilege.
“It’s one thing to tell girls that they can do amazing things, and that they can succeed beyond their wildest dreams, but if we’re not giving them the tools and opportunities to do it, it’s pointless,” Rodriguez said in an essay for Teen Vogue. “That’s why I was alarmed to learn that each school year, millions of American girls will miss class. As kids head back to school over the coming weeks, many girls will miss out on crucial lessons and opportunities to grow – but not because they don’t have the aptitude or drive to succeed. Instead, new research from Always has shown that nearly one in five U.S. girls have left school early, or missed entirely, because they don’t have access to the products they need to manage their periods.”
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The first day of school is a big day for girls around the country. Many will start a new school year filled with opportunities and possibilities. But some girls will skip school on their first day, their first week, or sometime in their first month – not because they are sick, but because they don’t have access to period products. Join me in the cause by posting a #throwback photo of yourself from childhood using #EndPeriodPoverty and @Always_brand – Always will donate an additional month’s supply of pads to a girl in need via Feeding America.
Rodriguez wants to end this staggering statistic by bringing awareness to this need of helping young women throughout the U.S. Procter & Gamble Co. — maker of Always feminine products — is joining forces with Rodriguez and the nonprofit Feeding America in a new advertising campaign that aims to build the confidence of girls as they enter puberty.
“Always’ mission is rooted in building girls’ confidence, which we know takes a hit at puberty,” said Jen Davis, P&G’s president of Global Feminine Care in a press release statement. “Education is a huge driver of girls’ confidence, and when we learned that nearly one in five girls in the U.S. are missing school because they don’t have period protection, we saw the need to expand our current efforts.”
So the company is planning to donate “15 million P&G period products this school year through the Feeding America network of food banks, which provide food, toiletries and personal care products to kids who are most in need.”
“I’ve been thinking about what my life would have been like if I’d been in this situation growing up. What if I’d had to stay home from class for a few days every month, when I was in my teens?” Rodriguez writes. “What lessons would I have missed, and how many quizzes would have occurred in my absence? I am sure I would’ve missed out on building deeper relationships with my teachers and peers, but it’s hard to know just how big the impact could be.”
Because of this amazing contribution, the next generation of Gina Rodriguez’s are out there right now being inspired to change the world while they’re at school.