Written Interview with Nadya Okamoto
· What is the best way an individual can help with period poverty?
“Starting a PERIOD chapter at their school or in their community is always a great way to get involved, and all of the information on how to get started can be found at period.org! We have over 850 registered chapters across the globe that strive to advance PERIOD’s mission of ending period poverty and period stigma, by creating action plans employing our three pillars of service, education, and advocacy. Other ways to work towards ending period stigma are to have open conversations about menstruation, educate yourself and others, and fight alongside PERIOD to change policy!”
· How do you think COVID-19 has impacted period poverty?
“COVID-19 has led to a rise and exposure of inequalities around the world. Poverty inherently is tied to period poverty — as period poverty is essentially not being able to afford a basic necessity due to a lack of resources or access. Period poverty has also been exacerbated due to product shortages, so PERIOD HQ's major focus right now is serving the marginalized communities that are being hit the hardest by this global crisis. We want to serve as many people as we possibly can across the country!”
· What does the future of sustainable menstrual products look like in your opinion?
“I think that sustainable menstrual products will continue to grow within the industry, especially if they become affordable to more consumers!”
· Do you think intersectional feminism has become increasingly important?
“I think that intersectional feminism is inherent to what feminism should be — a fight for gender equality and equity. I think that gender inclusivity especially is so important in this movement, and starts with the language that we use. Cis-women have a responsibility to promote this inclusivity too. Not all women menstruate, and not all menstruators are women — some may be nonbinary or trans but still experience menstruation. The language we use when fighting to end period poverty is very important because it makes it more difficult for non-binary people to access the products and healthcare they need.”
· What advice would you give to other budding activists?
“You really have to go for it. If there is something you want to do, do it! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t have the resources. Find your people, find a mentor, and ask questions!”
· How do you intend on using your platforms to help the Black Lives Matter movement?
“PERIOD stands in solidarity with those taking to the streets, and we are dedicated to providing resources to those deeply impacted by the fight for justice. Among our shipments this week, we are sending menstrual products to Black Lives Matter organizers in New York, activists in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and to our dedicated service partners in Los Angeles. We will be continuing our Free the Period and COVID response campaigns, to ensure our communities are served and have proper access to products. Additionally, we are connecting with our chapters across the country to ensure that they have the proper resources and products at this time and are taking actionable steps to recognize and eradicate racist culture within activist communities and within PERIOD (our full statement can be found here).
I have been and will continue to use my personal platform to uplift Black leaders through IG Lives and to share educational resources.”