Pink Boxes found in public institutions across the city provide women and girls with sanitary products in order to end period poverty and break menstruation taboos.
PERIOD POVERTY IN POLAND
Recent research (Kulczyk Fundation, 2020) shows that 4% of Polish women – nearly 500,000 people – cannot afford to buy sanitary items. The difficulties caused by the unavailability of sanitary pads in public institutions affect women in schools, universities, offices, and libraries. 21% of teenage girls skip school due to a lack of sanitary products, and 10% of women don’t leave the house at all. The Pink Box is the first project in Poland to deal with this problem. The City of Kielce joined this initiative shortly after it began.
PROVIDING SANITARY PRODUCTS
The Pink Box is a box where every girl and woman can find sanitary pads and tampons. Pink Boxes can be found in more and more places around Kielce, starting with social care facili- ties for women, schools, and cultural institutions. This initiative to fight period poverty and promote equal opportunities for women started in Poland with two bottom-up movements: Fundacja Różowa Skrzyneczka (Pink Box Foundation) and Fundacja Akcja Menstruacja (Menstruation Action Foundation). The City of Kielce was one of the first local authorities in Poland to officially join this project to find ways of supporting girls and women in breaking the taboo of menstruation.
BREAKING MENSTRUATION TABOOS
Apart from putting the boxes in institutional buildings throughout the city, the campaign informs citizens about the problem of period poverty and the challenge of providing equal opportunities for men and women. It helps to promote women’s engagement in education and culture, but also in the debate on menstruation and taboo-breaking. Breaking menstruation taboos and introducing Pink Boxes to public spaces is a step towards equal opportunities for women, empowering them to discuss the issues that affect them.