Period poverty, which refers to the lack of access to menstrual products, clean water and sanitation and health education, affects a quarter of the people with periods worldwide, estimates a report by Wash United, Waggs and Unicef. This gap is especially acute in under-resourced communities in The Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.
To highlight stories of menstruating people surviving through this poverty, Freedom Cups, a Singapore-based social enterprise and Wunderman Thompson Singapore unveiled a series of long-copy newspaper ads titled 'Period Poverty Chronicles'. The ads tell the stories of underprivileged females who have no access to period products, clean water, and adequate wash facilities.
Period Poverty Chronicles (see full size image here) will run in Singapore’s The Business Times in April, targeting the paper’s more affluent audience. The series will soon be turned into OOH posters and a free podcast series voiced by local artists to widen its reach.
This campaign aims to highlight Freedom Cups’ plan to spread both education and its reusable menstrual products into under-resourced communities through their buy-1, give-1 model. Every cup purchased directly allows the social enterprise to give a cup to a woman in an underprivileged community.
Vanessa Paranjothy, co-founder of Freedom Cups says: “We are doing our part to alleviate this goliath, age-old and multifaceted issue. We believe these cups that last for several years are the best option for the body, wallet and planet.”
This campaign is premised on the insight that newspapers are used as a desperate alternative by women who can’t afford sanitary products. Each Period Poverty Chronicle describes how a young girl is forced to use a newspaper sheet to manage her bleed.
Period Poverty Chronicles details unsettling, coming-of-age ordeals of young girls in Manila, Chennai and Kuala Lumpur. Through the eyes of the three protagonists, Tin-Tin, Kavitha and Aisyah, this campaign aims to give readers insights into the cultural stigmas and social complexities they battle and highlights the threat of being locked into “cycles of feminised poverty".