Across the city, some people say they cannot afford the high cost of hygiene products when they have their period.
“Periodic poverty means you can’t afford a product,” Christine Garde-Denning, Founder and CEO of CouldYou? Cut, said.
What do you want to know
- Christine Garde-Denning originally ran a literacy program in Mozambique, East Africa, but found that girls weren’t going to school because of their periods.
- It turned to developing and distributing menstrual cups called CouldYou? Cup
- Supply chain issues and inflation have caused a tampon shortage
- Garde-Denning brings 25,000 cups to Ukrainian refugees
Garde-Denning helps many people in the city by distributing the CouldYou? Cup, which is a medical grade silicone menstrual cup.
The Lower East Side is one of the neighborhoods in the city that needs feminine hygiene products.
This summer, Garde-Denning plans to distribute hundreds of these menstrual cups to the Girls Club, people in the neighborhood and other parts of town.
She says the products can be used for up to 12 hours and can be washed and reused for 10 years.
“There are women today who have to choose between food and a menstrual product,” Garde-Denning said.
Garde-Denning began advocating for menstrual fairness when she led a literacy program in Mozambique, East Africa. She realized that the students were missing school because the girls were menstruating.
“What came to our attention was that 94% of the girls were starting kindergarten and only 11% ended up in sixth and seventh grade,” Garde-Denning said.
She says period poverty has been exacerbated due to supply chain issues and inflation, causing a nationwide shortage of tampons, making her job even faster.
“If you just look at New York and you look at people who are food insecure, that means if they don’t have enough money to feed their families, they don’t have the extra money to buy $10 or $12 a month for menstrual products,” Garde-Denning added.
In addition to helping people in the city and across the country, she also brings the mugs to Ukrainian refugees.
“We were also asked to bring 25,000 cups to Ukrainian refugees living in Poland as well as women in Ukrainian hospitals,” Garde-Denning said.
Reports have revealed that across the world, 3.5 billion people menstruate – 40% of them do not have access to the products they need every month globally.
Garde-Denning has a list of 150,000 people waiting to receive menstrual cups. She hopes her work can help end menstrual poverty.
“Now I’m on a mission because it’s absolutely