The Commission on the Status of Women takes an unabashed approach to a social issue that gets far too little attention.

At COLONY Magazine, this issue was a bit uncomfortable for us and we thought it might be uncomfortable for our readers. That factor served to impress us further that these underserved members of our communities are further underserved by a lack of attention and dialogue. So we leave you with this information.

The Commission on the Status of Women is helping homeless women and girls throughout San Luis Obispo County by hosting a “drive by” feminine hygiene product drive for those in need. On December 4 from 4 to 7 p.m., in front of the County Government Building Center located at 1055 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo, donators can drive by and drop off sealed boxes of tampons or pads. Locally, donations can be dropped off at ECHO homeless services, located at 6370 Atascadero Avenue in Atascadero.

Feminine hygiene products are some of the most-needed items at shelters, yet they are also some of the least donated. To add insult to injury, menstruation is a taboo topic; people who are able to help often aren’t even aware that such a vast need exists.

advertisement

The daily lives of homeless women and girls are fraught with enough uncertainties. The question of what to do when the next period comes around shouldn’t be
one of them.

Even for those who earn a little money, tampons and pads are frequently classified as non-essential luxury items. They’re not covered by government assistance programs and are taxed in 40 states, including California, putting them out of reach for women with limited funds.

Despite the fact that menstruation is an unavoidable, biological reality for half the population, these products aren’t seen for what they are: a necessity.

The Commission on the Status of Women is sounding the call to action to help women and girls in need of access to feminine hygiene products. Something as small as a tampon can make the difference.

All donations will benefit El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) a homeless services organization. ECHO empowers people throughout San Luis Obispo County to make positive change by providing food, shelter, and support services.

The Commission on the Status of Women has been an official advisory group to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors since 1975. The commission identifies issues of concern to the women of San Luis Obispo County and reports those findings in an annual report. To take the annual survey, go to slowomen.org.

advertisement