'It's time for action' - charity launches poetry competition to combat period poverty

By Claire Dukes - 28 May 2019

CharityArts and CultureHealth

Young poets are being invited to join the fight against period poverty by penning an original poem to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Today marks Menstrual Hygiene Day, and to raise further awareness on period poverty a charity has launched a poetry competition for young creatives.

Wiltshire-based charity Women and Girls (Development) provides young girls and women in India with vital sanitary products and education about menstruation. To help celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day, the charity has announced a poetry competition for young people across Great Britain, which will be judged by authors Harriet Whitehorn and Perdita and Honor Cargill.

Co-Founder of Women and Girls, Kathryn Crosweller said: “Period poverty stretches beyond a lack of access to sanitary protection; all too often it also means a lack of understanding about periods and an inability to ask questions for a multitude of reasons.

"Our hope with this competition is to continue to highlight the importance of talking openly and honestly about periods, both in Britain and in India where we work.”

Entries for the competition are welcomed from young people in three categories: 10 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years and 16 to 18 years. The theme for this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day is #ItsTimeForAction - entrants might like to use this as the basis for their poem, although this isn’t required.

Author and competition judge Perdita Cargill said, “We’re both delighted to be involved in this initiative because no girl should be worried or ashamed about her periods. Let’s talk about periods and write poems about them and do whatever we can to help others get the fair access to sanitary protection they need for dignity and health.”

Entries open today (28 May) and close 9 July, with each age category having its own winner. The winners will receive a bundle of girl power goodies, including books donated by the judges, and their poem will be translated and used as part of the work Women and Girls is doing to combat period poverty in India.

Author and competition judge Harriet Whitehorn said: “Many young women today are able to talk about periods without fear or embarrassment, and anything we can do to encourage others to feel relaxed and comfortable about menstruation has to be a good thing.

"This competition is another piece in the puzzle towards the end of period poverty in all its forms.”

Women and Girls provides reusable, hygienic and culturally sensitive sanitary protection to women and girls in India.

To find out more about their work visit www.womenandgirls.org.uk.

For full terms and conditions of entry visit www.womenandgirls.org.uk/mhday2019/.

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