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It’s a Girl Thing!

It’s a Girl Thing!

It’s A Girl Thing!

Collecting and distributing 50,000 feminine hygiene products in Cobb County

In 2018, Junior League of Cobb-Marietta sustainers discovered an issue in the community that desperately needed to be addressed—girls were missing school each month because their families could not afford feminine hygiene products.

Approximately 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 4 women do not have access to feminine hygiene products due to poverty. Instead, they have reportedly made do with cloth, rags, tissues, toilet paper and sometimes even diapers or paper towels were taken from public bathrooms.

“Not addressing the issue of period poverty does not make the issue go away,” explains Katie Stieber, President of JLCM. “It is a reality for women and girls in poverty to miss work and school because of a lack of access to feminine hygiene products. We believe period products are as essential as toilet paper and water, and need to be accessible for women and girls in all walks of life.”

Over the past year, JLCM sustainers have rallied together with active members and the community to launch the It’s A Girl Thing! initiative to collect and distribute feminine hygiene products for local nonprofits and schools to help girls and women.

Since launching this effort, JLCM has collected and distributed approximately 50,000 feminine hygiene products.

JLCM will be collecting feminine hygiene products for It’s A Girl Thing! on the historic Marietta Square on April 30, 2020. Times and details will be announced closer to the date.

“In addition to working to raise awareness of period poverty within our local community and at the state level by backing House Bill 8, which would exempt tampons, pads and other menstrual products from Georgia’s sales tax, JLCM will continue to collect and distribute feminine hygiene products to try to erase the barrier to education and career created by period poverty,” adds Stieber.

During the legislative session in early 2019, Georgia lawmakers set aside money in the 2020 $27.5 billion state budget, which began July 1, to provide free menstrual pads and tampons to low-income women and girls. Lawmakers allocated $1.5 million will go to schools and community centers in low-income areas across the state.

For the past two legislative sessions, Georgia lawmakers have also attempted to remove the tax on period products with HB 8, but efforts have gone nowhere. According to an estimate from the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, waiving the tax on menstrual products would decrease state revenue by about $9 million in 2020. The department estimated that women and girls between the ages of 10 and 54 spend about $63 each year on menstrual products. By the end of last year, 10 states had specifically exempted menstrual products from sales taxes.

To learn more and support this initiative, contact JLCM Gives Chair Tammy Thorpe at jlcmgives@gmail.com.

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