Dignity Period fights period poverty by distributing high-quality reusable menstrual hygiene products to those in need and by improving access to accurate information about menstruation.
We began our work in Ethiopia to provide menstrual hygiene supplies and education to help girls stay in school by giving them what they need to manage their periods effectively. We've since brought our mission to end period poverty home to the U.S., working in St. Louis and Seattle. We believe that those who menstruate deserve dignity and comfort.
Ten Years of Impact
people supplied with free, reusable menstrual pads in Ethiopia and St. Louis, MO
male and female students in northern Ethiopia educated about menstrual health
UP TO 3.4M
single use period products diverted from U.S. landfills
Period Poverty Is Real
Period poverty is a lack of access to menstrual hygiene supplies such as pads and tampons. Some people must choose between buying groceries or menstrual health supplies each month. Lack of reliable period protection keeps many women and girls away from work or school. Such absenteeism only contributes to the cycle of poverty.
Education Is Part of the Solution
Lack of information about menstruation contributes to the problem. Dignity Period provides accurate, understandable information about menstruation.
Periods are a normal part of life for half of the world’s population. Yet talking about periods is embarrassing or shameful in many communities, leaving teens fearful and unprepared when menstruation starts, especially if they don't know what is happening to them.
Myths and misinformation about this natural biological process are widespread. We strive to educate everyone–including men and boys–with accurate facts about menstruation. Our goal is the elimination of period stigma.
Period Poverty Is Everywhere
Although we began our work in Ethiopia, we started working in the U.S. when we discovered the surprising need of low-income girls, women, and their families in St. Louis. Many state governments treat menstrual hygiene products like luxury items. In half of U.S. states, WIC or SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase tampons, pads, or reusable period supplies. Furthermore, in many parts of the country these necessary supplies are subject to sales tax. Period poverty is widespread in the U.S.; not just overseas. Lack of reliable access to period management supplies keeps many girls and women from fully participating in work and school.
A study of low-income women in St. Louis found that nearly two thirds (64%) were unable to afford menstrual hygiene supplies during the previous year.
Anne Sebert Kuhlmann et. al., “Unmet menstrual hygiene needs among low-income women.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019;133(2):238-244.
Environmental and Economic Sustainability
Our kits include four reusable pads–enough to last for at least 12 months. Not only does this provide reliable coverage for period needs, but it also keeps the equivalent of up to 240 disposable pads, tampons, or panty-liners out of the trash, per person, per year.
Our Dignity Period Kits are economically sustainable, too. Each reusable menstrual pad we provide is made in a woman-led factory in either northern Ethiopia or St. Louis, MO. Our production partners provide job training to women who would otherwise struggle to find employment, empowering them to become economically independent.
Where We Work
Dignity Period distributes period supplies and provides menstrual education to school-aged children in Tigray and Afar.
A regional war interrupted our work, but now with the cessation of hostilities the need is greater than ever. Learn more about our work in Ethiopia.
Dignity Period distributes period kits to middle and high school students and women in the St. Louis area whose families struggle to afford basic needs like food, transportation, and rent.
As we expand to help even more people, we need your support. Learn more about our work in St. Louis.
In 2023, Dignity Period arrived in Seattle to serve those in need.
We are actively seeking partners, volunteers, donors, and supporters as we grow.