REPS. CLARKE AND MENG INTRODUCE RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING MAY AS NATIONAL MENSTRUAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 3, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced a resolution recognizing May as National Menstrual Health Awareness Month. The resolution recognizes the impact that the stigmatization of menstruation has on the lives of women, girls, and people who menstruate, and expresses support for the designation of May as National Menstrual Health Awareness Month.
“For too long, the stigmatization in women’s health has resulted in the downplaying of our symptoms, our reluctance to seek treatment, shame, self-doubt, isolation, and even harassment. The stigma associated with women’s health impacts not only our physical health but also our emotional wellbeing. The consequences have been devastating, particularly for Black women who are disparately affected by systemic medical racism and bias. Menstruation is normal and natural and occurs monthly for about 40 years,” said Rep. Clarke. “And it’s time we normalize it. I’m proud to join Rep. Meng in introducing this resolution to designate the month of May as National Menstrual Health Awareness Month because period stigma should have no place in modern society.”
“Menstruation is a natural part of human biology and there should be no stigma around discussing menstrual health and wellness,” said Rep. Meng. “I am proud to introduce this resolution declaring May National Menstrual Health Awareness Month to highlight how menstrual health is integral in overall health. Roughly half the population menstruates each month, yet the overall stigma continues to obfuscate efforts to ensure access to menstrual products and clean, safe water and sanitation facilities for menstrual hygiene management. Additionally, the stigma around menstruation is damaging and can impact people from the onset of puberty throughout the rest of their lives. Menstrual health cuts across a swath of issues from housing to educational access and workplace safety. We must normalize the conversation around menstruation, and I am grateful for the support of Rep. Clarke in introducing this resolution which will further our efforts to promote menstrual health and wellness as a health care right and a human right.”
“Over the last decade that the Fibroid Foundation has advocated for fibroid patient equity, we recognize that menstrual equity is at the root of our work,” said Sateria Venable, CEO of the Fibroid Foundation. “Erasing the stigma of menstrual equity is foundational to prioritizing the health of women, girls, and menstruators.”
“Menstrual health is a critical part of an individual’s reproductive health throughout much of their lives. It’s a vital sign that can help obstetrician-gynecologists screen for life-altering conditions and counsel patients on family planning,” said Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “However, menstruation also remains a burden on many of our patients. It can cause severe pain, can interfere with their lives, and can be a major financing burden on their lives. We are proud to support declaring May as Menstrual Health Awareness Month so that more people can develop menstrual literacy and learn how periods can impact the health and lives of those who menstruate.”
“It is heartbreaking that hundreds of millions of people around the world are stigmatized and discriminated against for their menstrual cycles. This is not just debilitating for people who menstruate but can debilitate whole communities – when women can’t go to work and girls can’t go to school because of their periods, societies can’t thrive,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA. “This Resolution is a much-needed reminder that millions around the globe are still discriminated against simply for the act of being a woman or a girl. As an organization that works to achieve global equality by combatting harmful gender discrimination and up-lifting women and girls, CARE is proud to endorse this resolution recognizing May as National Menstrual Health Awareness Month.”
“Menstrual health is a human rights issue that affects gender equality and the socio-economic achievement of women, girls and people who menstruate,” said Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins, President and CEO of PAI. “Around the world, and here in the United States, millions of women and girls face barriers to accessing menstrual health support. PAI believes in eliminating period stigma and ensuring everyone has access to the menstrual products, supplies, education, and sanitation facilities they need and deserve. This and every month, we call for breaking the silence around menstruation and fighting a neglected public health issue that stands in the way of equity and progress.”
“No one should have to go without access to period products. Yet one in four teens reports missing school because of a lack of period products, and nearly 85% think this issue needs more attention. Menstrual health is a crucial part of allowing young people to reach their full potential,” said Dr. Stephanie Hull, President and CEO of Girls Inc.
Meng and Clarke’s resolution also recognizes the importance of expanding clinical research and health education on conditions impacting menstrual health such as fibroids, endometriosis, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Meng has long championed the issue of menstrual equity, previously introducing the Menstrual Equity for all Act. The legislation is a whole-of-government approach to ensuring different populations of people access menstrual products, including tampons, pads and other forms of menstrual products.
Endorsing organizations include: the Fibroid Foundation, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Girls Inc., PERIOD., Alliance for Period Supplies, PAI, CARE USA, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine, Days for Girls International, Endometriosis Association, HealthyWomen, National Organization for Women, PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association, the Red Alert Brand, Society for Women’s Health Research, the Pad Project, University of Chicago Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the White Dress Project.
A copy of the resolution can be viewed here.