While current First Daughter Ivanka Trump is busy decorating her new office in the West Wing and collecting exclusive Chinese trademark rights for her corporate brand on the same day that she has dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping, former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton is bringing attention to problems facing women and girls worldwide.
In between her duties as Clinton Foundation co-chair and a Columbia University instructor, the daughter of Hillary and Bill took the time to pen an eye opening essay for Well and Good about the lack of support for girls and women during menstruation and breastfeeding.
Chelsea rightly points out that women will spend, on average, 3,000 days of their life menstruating. For a woman without access to menstrual supplies — or even access to clean water — those 3,000 days can become an insurmountable obstacle to going to school or work. And this isn’t just an area of concern in the developing world; Chelsea tells us that pads and tampons aren’t covered by food stamps, and are one of the most requested items at food pantries in America.
The stigma on discussing menstruation is rampant all over the world. Chelsea tells an anecdote about lugging her backpack into the bathroom rather than take out a tampon or pad in school. (Meanwhile, girls in China will soon be able to shop Ivanka’s accessories line for a handbag smaller than a backpack that would be perfect for hiding menstrual supplies for girls who can afford such luxuries. That doesn’t help poor girls or anything, but I digress.)
Breaking the taboo to address shortages in menstrual supplies worldwide is an important step in bringing true economic justice to girls and women the world over.
Thank you, Chelsea, for being frank and honest about this important issue! It’s lovely to see someone with ready-made name recognition using her powers for good!
P.S.: If you want to help provide sanitary supplies to women in your area, contact shelters, food pantries, and diaper banks to ask if they distribute tampons and pads to their clients.