BUFFALO, N.Y. — President Biden proclaimed January 2023 to be National Mentoring Month.
This proclamation has inspired The Confident Girl mentoring program to expand its educational components to include the E3 Menstrual Health Equity Project.
This project is peer lead, and will better address the social determinants of reproductive health and provide free menstrual products at various schools, community centers, and programs throughout WNY.
“Through my mentoring organization, I want to engage, educate, and empower our girls to be advocates of change,” said Tiffany Lewis, Founder, and President. “Black women have historically believed ourselves to be 'wrong,' whether about our bodies or our hair. Our experience has given us deep-seated issues with how we show up in the world. And so, it is a natural progression for us not to have healthy relationships with our bodily processes, namely menstruation.” Since the project launch, the girls packed and distributed over five hundred menstrual hygiene kits.
According to the National Organization for Women, on average those with a menstrual cycle will spend over $18,000 on menstrual products throughout their lives.
Those living in poverty may not have these resources at all, and may overuse products if they do have them which can cause low self-esteem, depression, missed school days, and further damaging reproductive health outcomes.
Representatives of Confident Girl have visited several schools throughout WNY and spoke with students where the common theme was that students are still paying for supplies, school counselors are self-paying, products are not readily accessible, or the products are low-grade.
To spread more awareness Confident Girl is calling for help from our elected officials, community, and businesses to attend a Menstrual Product awareness happy hour at Misuta Chows on 521 Main Street, Buffalo NY, 14203 on Wednesday, January 18 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Those who attend are encouraged to stop by after work with a box of tampons, pads, hygiene products, or a cash donation to benefit Confident Girl’s Menstrual Equity Project in Buffalo and help stock their supplies.