A Period Positive Party has been launched in Sheffield to raise money for menstrual health training. The scheme will collect funds for a charitable project abroad as well as fighting period poverty locally. Proceeds from ticket sales will be used to support the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) programme based in rural Kenya.
Team Leader, Ethan Bourque, at Dig Deep, who has organised the project, said: “Menstrual health is a huge problem in Kenya. Some people aren’t even taught what a period is; they simply wake up one day and think they’re unwell.”
MHM aims to break down stigmas surrounding periods and provides those in the country with the tools and information needed to continue their education and work whilst menstruating.
Mr Bourque said: “We’ve found that some people are afraid to go into the fields as they believe their period blood will spoil the crops and many are forced to take time off school. This limits their opportunities for the future, and we want to change that.”
The Period Party, which starts at 8:30pm tomorrow at Sheffield’s Vodka Revolution, will involve a quiz about menstrual health and a session in which people can share humorous period-related stories.
Prizes have been provided by Mooncup, Bloody Good Period, Flo and many more.
Mr Bourque also stressed that the event was not solely about raising money for Kenya, the project also aims to get people in Sheffield talking openly about their periods.
He said: “We really want to break down taboos that still exist in the UK.
“UK based period poverty is not only down to a lack of funding, but also a lack of information and open conversation.”
Dr Maria Tomlinson, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, at the University of Sheffield, agreed that we still have room to improve here in the UK.
Dr Maria Tomlinson
She said: “We all experience menstruation differently based on class and religious beliefs but there’s still an overriding stigma around periods in the UK.
“It’s rare that people walk around holding a tampon, but that is what we should be doing; we shouldn’t feel like we have to hide tampons in our bags.”
Dr Tomlinson also stressed the key message that not all people who menstruate are born as women and not all women menstruate.
This message is reinforced by Dig Deep, with people of all gender identities welcome to attend tomorrow’s event.