Nadya Okamoto and the Fight to End Period Poverty

This week as I was scrolling my social media I saw quite a few posts, sponsored and unsponsored, about period poverty. Several organizations are currently raising awareness for the cause and promoting it in honor of Women’s History Month. Period Poverty is a term used to describe when a girl or woman can’t afford sanitary products while they are on their period. Most organizations focus on school-age girls who are forced to skip out on school during the most valuable learning period of their lives because they don’t have proper period protection. Several brands, organizations, and individuals are making moves to change that. One of the most prominent is 21 year-old Nadya Okamoto, the founder and executive director of PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement.

Nadya founded PERIOD when she was just 16 years old, and it is now the largest women’s health-based nonprofits and among the fastest growing. PERIOD, as an organization, works by providing menstrual products such as pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and reusable pads, to girls and women in need. Since 2014, PERIOD has served women in over 500,000 periods.

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PERIOD operates by partnering with local chapters run on high school and college campuses around the globe. These chapters raise awareness, host fundraisers, and distribute menstrual products to the women in need throughout their communities.

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Nadya has taken full advantage of her platform with PERIOD and is currently on leave from Harvard University to focus on advocacy. She’s presented a Ted Talk, run for local office, mobilizing young voters in her area, and written a book called Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement. Nadya is an entrepreneur and motivational speaker. In my opinion, InStyle Magazine said it best when they named her on their list, “The Badass 50: Meet the Women Who Are Changing the World” alongside people like Michelle Obama and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

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To get involved in Nadya’s fight to end period poverty, you can visit the official website period.org, donate, or start a chapter on your campus!