Rallies are taking place on October 19.

By Christopher Luu
Updated Oct 14, 2019 @ 10:30 pm
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The very first National Period Day is set to take place on Oct. 19. With events planned in all 50 states, organizers are hoping to bring attention to the fact that period poverty is a very real thing. With the goal of ending the Tampon Tax once and for all, National Period Day wants to eliminate the sales tax on period products so that the 1 in 4 women who struggle to afford those products — some even having to choose between a meal and menstrual supplies — don't have to live wondering how they'll deal with their period.

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What is the Tampon Tax?

According to Period.org, 35 U.S. states levy a sales tax on period products, because governing bodies in those places consider items such as tampons, maxi pads, and pantyliners to be non-essential items. The site states that 46% "of low-income women had to choose between a meal and period products."

In addition to making menstruation part of everyday life, not a taboo subject like so many people see it, National Period Day is hoping to make menstrual products available for free in public places, such as schools, shelters, and prisons.

What's happening on National Period Day?

Each rally has a different schedule, but each one has the same principle: menstrual hygiene is a right, not a privilege. Period.org has a list of every state's respective events with links to Facebook and Action Network pages for more information. There's also a petition that you can sign if you want to make a difference on the national level. Locations include MacArthur Park in Los Angeles and City Hall Park in New York City.

Can anyone attend the rallies?

Organizers want everyone, whether they menstruate or not, to attend. Saturday's events are all-inclusive and support gender equality. The official hashtags for the events are #NATIONALPERIODDAY and #PERIODPOWER for anyone who wants to follow on social media.

Who is involved?

The Menstrual Movement Coalition is a group of nonprofit organizations, brands, and thought leaders hoping to bring more attention to the accessibility problem in menstrual products. Big names such as Tampax, Thinx, and Planned Parenthood are teaming with In Her Shoes, Gen Z Girl Gang, and the Female Quotient to spread the word even when it's not National Period Day.

What happens next?

According to Self, National Period Day will be followed by a donation drive for period supplies. Then, in 2020, organizers hope to have meetings with legislators in and continue the movement with additional activist training workshops in May.