Ms. Global: Scotland Eliminates Period Product Fees; Poland’s Pride March; Nonbinary Joan of Arc Debuts at Globe Theatre

Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms.. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This week: Scotland paves way for period poverty movement; volunteers provide menstrual products in Pakistan, amid floods; Pride marches in Poland; Spain passes “yes means yes” consent law; and more.

How Solitary Confinement Harms Women

Every day in the U.S., women endure the torture of solitary confinement, kept in cells the size of small closets for over 22 hours a day, isolated and alone, wondering if the state will execute them. Women are uniquely affected by lengthy incarceration; at least 75 percent of the women currently serving death sentences are mothers.

Sabrina Butler-Smith spent six and a half years behind bars—almost three of them on death row—before she was exonerated and set free. She may have been proven innocent, but after being caged in a six by nine foot cell, Butler-Smith told Ms., “You’re never the same.” 

Now More Than Ever, It’s Time for Universal Menstrual Education for Gender Equality

Ninety-two percent of high school students reported needing a new pad or tampon during school. Yet, period poverty, a lack of access to menstrual products due to economic circumstances, impacts students’ ability to safely address menstruation.

“Some girls find out about their periods when they actually get them. It’s just never talked about in schooling.”

Will My Period Tracking App Betray Me? Menstrual Surveillance in a Post-Roe World

Menstrual data and period tracking has already become a lucrative industry for apps. Selling private and personal reproductive health data to companies has created income many fertility apps.

The availability of this data already poses a unique threat to the lives of all people with uteruses, but in a world without Roe the risk of this data becoming a weapon for the anti-abortion movement. They have been known to use such data to influence decision making and reproductive choices. In order to keep this vital data out of their hands action needs to be taken to provide protection and safe alternatives for menstruators.

Women’s Rights and Democracy Are Inextricably Linked

Last fall, America was featured for the first time on a list of backsliding democracies. With inadequate progress in women’s participation in government, reproductive rights, and maternal mortality, this title may reflect recent attacks on gender equality. Amer­ica’s long­stand­ing and abysmal record on myriad gender equity mark­ers has been the true harbinger for our down­graded democracy status.

The Period Project: Menstrual Equity in Schools

In the last of our three-part series on menstrual equity, highlighting our Period Project research study and forthcoming Period Project Report Cards, we report on schooling and access to menstrual products.

Within the last five years, over a dozen states passed laws to require that menstrual products be made available free of charge in at least some schools—up from zero. State laws requiring access to menstrual products free of charge represent a crucial component of ending period poverty and achieving menstrual equity.  

The Period Project: The Fight for Menstrual Equity in Prisons

Although only 5 percent of the world’s female population lived in the United States, it accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world’s incarcerated women. Inadequate and inaccessible menstrual products remain a pervasive issue in the U.S. carceral system. Our research shows few states have taken action to address the issue and enforcement lags behind laws that mandate access to menstrual supplies.

(This is the second article in a three-part series on the Period Project, which examines the scope and consequences of period poverty and assesses state progress toward achieving menstrual equity through legislation.)