Podcast Episode 194: One Mom’s Quest for Menstrual Equity

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 194 of The New Family Podcast where we talk about menstruation and explore the concept of menstrual equity.

For this episode we’re joined by Jana Girdauskas. Jana is a mother of two, a special education teacher and the founder of an amazing charity called The Period Purse, which provides menstrual hygiene to people who are experiencing homelessness. Learn about the aha moment in her car that led to Jana learning about the issue of menstrual equity, plus the incredible way her two young sons have become educated about menstruation by helping package supplies for The Period Purse. 

How people cope when they don’t have menstrual hygiene products

“In marginalized, low-income communities, those period products are really expensive for them. When they have to chose $15 for food or menstrual products, they’re obviously choosing the former. I’ve heard some amazing stories of what these menstruators are doing. I’ve heard of how a woman takes a whole roll of toilet paper when she goes into a coffee shop and then she wraps it around her arm and she makes a homemade pad out of that. Some people use newspaper and one woman told me how the newspaper leads to infection every month…” 

How the problem has been overlooked

“It’s something really unfortunate that’s happened because it just hasn’t been on operation budgets of shelters. The people making those decisions of where they put the money and the policy decisions, I think, have been people who don’t have a uterus.”  

Here are some resources related to this episode:

The Period Purse website

“Support a Menstruator” for only $12/month

Here is how you can make any donation to the Period Purse

The Period Purse Facebook page

Related Episode: How to Talk to Kids About Puberty

Related Episode: How to Explain Where Babies Come From – Talking to Kids About Sex

Related Episode: A Dad’s Cool Mission to Spread Girl-Positive Messages

Related Episode: Changing the Way We Talk to Girls About Their Changing Bodies 

What Jana enjoys most about her work with The Period Purse

“The biggest thing is the education thing for me. I think really educating and engaging people, whether it’s a student in our menstruation nation, whether it’s the people who come to our packing party, or just hear about it and say ‘Oh my gosh, you’re right’ — and just having them having that aha moment, that really means a lot to me and that’s I think the power behind the Period Purse and the movement that we’re making.”

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by