This month, we’re blowing out 4 candles, marking four years of working to end period poverty in Amsterdam. The idea was born in a living room… and in the early days, we started by helping just 15 people a month, storing period products in our hallways (and the occasional car). Thanks to support from donors and volunteers, the number of people we were able to help continued to grow. Seeing the lack of concrete data on period poverty in Amsterdam, we published the first-ever quantitative research last year, leading to the passage of milestone legislation for our city.
None of this would have been possible without lots of people coming together, rolling up their sleeves and helping how they could.
If you’d asked us on previous anniversaries what we’d wish for, our answer would likely be something around real policy change, and certainly more frank talk about periods and period poverty to help reduce stigma. We saw policy change occur earlier this year… But there is so much to be done around increasing awareness.
It is therefore with particular delight that we can announce that our fight against period poverty is going to New York! Well, our story is, anyway. A documentary, called “The Menstruation Station“, will make its world premiere in New York City at this year’s DOC NYC, the largest documentary film festival in the US. Filmmaker Miguel Luis wanted to tell the story behind the Menstruation Station he just happened to notice while walking down an Amsterdam street. Believing NF’s approach could inspire others and be duplicated elsewhere, he grabbed his equipment and followed us last year as we packed Dignity Kits, installed Menstruation Stations, worked with researchers on the Amsterdam Menstruates survey, and advocated with city officials. The hard reality is that period poverty occurs the world over, including in North America. Soon, Miguel will be joined by co-producer Nicole Olwagen in New York to talk about what we do during DOC NYC.
We’re proud of what we have accomplished in just four years. Even though our work is not done, we want to extend a special thank you to the talented Miguel Luis for choosing to tell our story, and for doing the work to bring it and the issue of period poverty to a wider audience.