NYPIRG Hosts Menstruation Drive to Support Women’s Center

NYPIRG staff hosting the menstruation drive in Flatbush./Courtesy of NYPIRG Staff


By T’Neil Gooden  

   The New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG) Brooklyn College chapter hosted a menstrual product drive to support the Women’s Center on March 25 and March 28.

   The NYPIRG community went into the Flatbush district around Brooklyn College to ask for menstrual product donations to the BC community. As previously reported by The Vanguard, the Women’s Center and other areas within BC have had a product shortage. Budget cuts have cut many resources within the Women’s Center, and the distribution of menstrual products is one of them. This is why NYPIRG decided to step in and assist the Women’s Center in restocking these goods.

   “It was really great helping out. I was even able to make a donation myself, which I really appreciated,” Leila Tazi, a NYPIRG intern, told The Vanguard. “It doesn’t take much, but it could make a huge difference because in [a pack of pads] there are 18 pads that could potentially help 18 students.”  

   The students within the NYPIRG community look forward to this event as it continues to spread light on the issues within the BC walls. Going into the community to spread awareness on menstruation and the lack of products within the BC campus allowed for the influx of many products and attention towards the stereotypes behind period products. 

   “I really love that this is one of my favorite events that NYPIRG does, because it is really such solidarity and unity within the campus,” Tazi told The Vanguard. “It’s so geared to help students and I really love that it is student-focused.”  

   For other organizers, openly talking about donations and the need for period products is working to eliminate the stigma and taboo about the need for women to have access to these types of hygienic products.

   “I really liked advocating and asking for menstrual products specifically because I think there is a historical connotation with shame and taboo and [people] don’t talk about menstrual products in our society, specifically in the US,” Daniella Gostev, a NYPIRG intern told The Vanguard. “It just felt really important to be using proper words for the [products] that we were asking for and asking everyone, and normalizing the idea that this is a need. We’re not just going to be quiet about it because of some outdated claims with menstrual products.”  

   According to organizer and NYPIRG Project Coordinator Brooklyn Darling, the drive was able to provide 1,146 menstrual products to the Women’s Center from the donations received from the Flatbush community.

   Another leading cause for the making of this event was to combat “period poverty”–which researchers define as the inability for women globally to have access to proper menstruation products that leaves them unable to go about their daily lives, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). NLM determined that 1 out of 10 menstruating girls miss school during their cycles due a lack of necessary products, and many women allocate money meant for food towards proper sanitary products. 

   “Period poverty is very severe, especially because a lot of people are very unaware of it,” Tazi told The Vanguard. “New York City being such a rich city, poverty can look very different from suburban poverty or rural poverty in this country, and current poverty definitely comes up, especially for youth, girls, women, and people who have menstruation in their youth and in their school years.”  

    While organizers stress that supply drives like this are just the start to combating period poverty, it can make a huge difference for a woman to have what she needs in order to thrive.

   “It’s very serious, we’re all struggling and at the end of the day, one pad can be the difference between getting to class on time or not,” Tazi said. “So, anything helps, and I think this is just such beautiful work and it really heals my inner child to be able to do this and give back to others knowing that this is something I’ve needed help with myself.”  

   NYPIRG will continue to accept donations, with every product creating hope that no student will have to face this type of poverty any longer.

   “[We] need these products more than ever before, so if you are able to give anything at all, now is the time,” Darling said. “One single box of 12 products will be able to help potentially 12 different students, so that’s why we really need to be all stepping up our game.” 


   To learn more, visit NYPIRG on their Instagram @brooklyn_nypirg and visit the Women’s Center at 227 Ingersoll Extension.

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