London has seen an increase in activism relating to the period movement. The period movement is what many are considering new wave feminism. The period movement focuses the stigma around women’s health and stigma related to other issues such as body image and mental health. Locally, London has seen women bring awareness by getting the community involved.
Rachel Ettinger is the founder of Here for Her. Here for Her is a social enterprise that aims to reduce the stigma around women’s health through awareness, education, discussions, and charity work. Ettinger says that there needs to be change when talking about women’s health. “It’s kinda been the feminist movement, the period movement, that’s what they’re calling it. [In] the past two to three years where we’re finally speaking out about topics that, again, we haven’t been talking about ever before.” Here for Her sells products where the money raised goes towards various women’s initiatives. There also more direct ways to help women get the products they need.
On the second Tuesday of every month, Jack Astor’s on Fanshawe park road west hosts a networking event where admission is a donation of feminine hygiene products. The feminine hygiene products that are donated can be anything from pads to tampons. Whatever feminine hygiene product is donated goes to the London Food Bank where low-income women can get the products they need. Mandi Fields, the founder of the London Chapter of Tampon Tuesday, has met some women who become very desperate to find a way to take care of a basic human need. “I’ve heard one really horrible story about a young homeless woman. She would collect used cigarettes butts, save them, and use some old, brown, scratchy paper towels and make her own tampons. It’s a real issue.”