Zonta District 6 Period Project Helps
Homeless Madison Women with Basic Essentials
Over the weekend of October 13-15 2017, 120 members of Zonta International District 6, which includes clubs in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, attended a Conference in Madison, Wisconsin hosted by Zonta Club of Madison. In alignment with the Zonta mission of empowering women through service and advocacy, the attendees participated in a Period Project service activity. They donated over $5000 in feminine hygiene products to the Road Home Dane County. The Road Home is an overflow shelter for families who could not be served by the existing shelters. Zonta donated 150 Period Packs and a truck full of other supplies. These will help homeless women deal with the financial and societal burden of their menstrual cycle.
The Period Project is a nationwide effort to help homeless women overcome the obstacle of dealing with these burdens. The sale of feminine hygiene products is a big business with over $15 billion in yearly revenues. On average, a woman spends $100/year on these products. For a homeless woman, during the week of her period, that may mean choosing between eating a lunch and buying tampons. Two factors only worsen this dilemma. The Federal government considers these products “non-essential”, therefore they are not covered by Food Stamps and 45 out of 50 states, Wisconsin included, consider them a luxury item and tax them as such. The expense of these products creates a barrier not only for the homeless but for all of the 40 million women living in poverty in the USA.