To coincide with International Women’s Day 2018, Freda, the organic period care brand made for women, by women has unveiled its Period Manifesto.
The manifesto contains actionable advice around education, conversation and, crucially, access. Freda, which gives back to women by donating a portion of its sales to enterprises worldwide that strive to to end period poverty, is encouraging workplaces to provide free pads and tampons for their employees and is even offering them a free month’s supply.
Each point in the manifesto contains actionable advice around education, conversation and, crucially, access. Freda advocates that:
• Period products are an essential not a luxury
• Periods are a sign of health
• Periods are normal, not shameful
• Periods are private, not secret
• There should be transparency of ingredients for such an intimate product
• Period products should be sustainable and responsible
Ping pong tables, beer on tap and soundproofed ‘sleep pods’ are just some of the things companies provide for their staff, but how many cater for the most essential needs of their female employees?
Period products are vital for the health, wellbeing and full participation in day-to-day activities of women and girls globally. Research shows that 86% of women have started their period unexpectedly*. They report feeling panicked, stressed and embarrassed. What do women do? Dash out for an emergency tampon run? Hope your colleague has a spare? Or deal with a toilet paper substitute?
“Societal taboos and stigma have meant that the menstrual needs of women have so far been overlooked. In 2018, period products should be regarded as an essential, and budgeted for accordingly – after all, we’re not expected to carry around our own toilet paper, or buy it from vending machines. Tampon smuggling has to stop!”, says Freda founder Affi Parvizi-Wayne. “Once you start thinking about it, it becomes a no-brainer, and it’s encouraging that progressive companies like Google and Spotify are beginning to take women’s needs into account. This small step sends a big message to employees.”
Freda’s mission is to encourage open and honest conversation around periods, removing the stigma and embarrassment associated with the subject which negatively impacts women in their everyday lives. For an average cost of £10 an employee per year, organisations can demonstrate their commitment to true inclusion and equality in their workspace by taking this practical step towards addressing their needs. There is strict legislation** requiring employers to provide female staff and customers with a ‘discreet and hygienic place to dispose of feminine hygiene waste’, and Freda are advocating for a change in regulations to allow period care products to become mandatory.
Freda offers corporate bulk subscriptions delivered monthly, ensuring that they can be incorporated seamlessly into office bathrooms. As a further incentive Freda will offer a free month’s delivery of period-care products to workplaces that sign up to a subscription at Myfreda.com/corporate and use the code fredaIWD. What’s more, a Freda subscription can fulfill corporate social responsibility commitments as a portion of its profits goes directly to initiatives tackling period poverty.
To view Freda’s Period Manifesto, visit Myfreda.com/manifesto.
*Free the Tampon Foundation research: http://www.freethetampons.org/uploads/4/6/0/3/46036337/ftt_infographic.pdf
**Sanitary Waste Law: