.Highlighting important milestones Colorado has achieved - including more than 3.1 million organic period products provided - and the work that continues to bring menstrual equity to the forefront
DENVER, May 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Justice Necessary – a Colorado community initiative to fight hygiene and period poverty – joins the global commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, 2023. Menstrual Hygiene Day serves as a vital platform to raise awareness about period poverty and the need for increased, equitable access to period products such as tampons and pads. This occasion is the perfect time to celebrate the remarkable milestones accomplished in Colorado and emphasize the ongoing efforts needed to bring menstrual equity to the forefront and achieve lasting change.
"The impacts of period poverty are widespread and extend far beyond inconvenience – affecting women's mental, emotional and physical health," explains Diane Cushman Neal, founder of Justice Necessary. "According to an independent study we recently conducted, 47% of Colorado women currently menstruating report experiencing period poverty. This is NOT ok. We're partnering with organizations throughout Colorado to take action – raising awareness, providing products, increasing access and working toward solutions to achieve menstrual equity. Over the last two and a half years, we've provided more than 3.1 million organic period products where the need is greatest and access is crucial."
Many organizations, initiatives and advocates are working hard to bring a higher level of menstrual equity to Colorado. This means providing affordable, accessible and safe period products along with health education to everyone who needs it. This hard work is starting to pay off and as a result Colorado has a lot to celebrate.
Justice Necessary has provided 3,151,326 organic pads, tampons and pantyliners throughout the state over the last two and a half years. This equates to over 150,000 months or 12,500 years of products provided, based on 21 units of period products per month.
Through its network of strategic partners, Justice Necessary also provided 337 Aunt Flow period dispensers, more than 50 baskets with period products and supplied access to free monthly period products. This effort increases access to free period products for colleges, community colleges and universities including Colorado State University's Rams Against Hunger; middle and high schools in Denver Douglas and Jefferson Counties; the city of Denver; as well as community organizations such as Jewish Family Service (JFS) Weinberg Food Pantry, Roundup River Ranch and more. Justice Necessary also helps organizations develop long-term, self-sustaining solutions to maintain this initiative.
Thanks to the hard work of The Women's Foundation of Colorado's Don't Tax Dignity coalition, nearly a year ago, June 3, 2022, Governor Polis signed the state House Bill 1055 into law. This law, also known as the "pink tax."This law makes state sales tax exempt on essential hygiene products including period products. This benefits more than 1.6 million menstruators in Colorado.
The Don't Tax Dignity coalition has continued to work tirelessly to extend the sales tax exemption for essential hygiene products to cities and counties throughout the state.
Aurora, Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Pueblo, Windsor and Larimer County have also extended the sales tax exemption.
"As a single mother who struggles to make a livable wage to care for my family, I am grateful for this small but significant step that acknowledges the fundamental needs of families and ensures that access to essential items is not hindered by financial burdens," says Christina from Northern Colorado.
"The removal of the state tax on period products makes it so that I don't feel punished for dealing with something natural to my body," says Mikayla Florian from Lone Tree, Colo. "Also, reducing the overall cost of period products helps financially so I can spend that money on other essential items, especially with the cost of living being so high right now."
"Behind every statistic are real people, and stories - like Christina's and Mikayla's," says Rosie Glaser, director of resource provisions for Justice Necessary. "To me, menstrual equity is an action word. It means understanding individual and community menstrual health related needs, and using this knowledge to create access to safe menstrual products and inclusive menstrual health education. At Justice Necessary, we have a passion for increasing access to period products and helping to create menstrual equity."
Justice Necessary works to imagine and implement systemic and sustainable ways to address hygiene and period poverty and promote menstrual equity in our community. The solution is to educate and raise awareness about hygiene and period poverty and work together to increase access – helping Coloradans get the hygiene and period products they need to live life with dignity. Justice Necessary creates collaborative partnerships with organizations to increase access to fairly priced, eco-friendly hygiene and period products. To learn more about Justice Necessary and how to get involved, visit justicenecssary.org. More data about this issue is available in the independent study commissioned by Justice Necessary to better understand the impact of hygiene poverty on Colorado women.