Welcome to Glorious & Cash – Les Glorieuses launched this newsletter to talk about why money is power and matters for gender equality. In partnership with Women’s March Global, we’re taking this revolution worldwide. It’s written by Arièle Bonte and Uma Mishra.
🇫🇷Pour la version française, cliquez ici.
Periods cost a lot of money, by Uma Mishra, executive director, Women’s March Global
You’re standing in the aisle at the pharmacy surveying your options: tampons, pads, maybe a menstrual cup. You wonder…why does a couple of ounces of cotton cost so much?? You shrug. It’s not like you have a choice; you have to buy the product. You’re on your period after all. What are you going to do ? Bleed all over ?
The pink tax
Across the globe, women pay more for the same products and services than men: clothing, razors, hair cuts, and cleaning serivces. But the biggest place women see an upcharge is costs for their monthly visitor – their period. A study shows that women in the U.K. spend £18,000 – close to 70% of one average yearly salary – on their periods.
In many countries, period-related items (not including things like heating pads and medicine for cramps) are considered “luxury goods,” meaning
they are subject to taxes that other staple goods like foodstuffs are not.
In other countries, particularly in rural areas, period-related goods are scarce, if they are available at all. Other situations like homelessness and refugee status create circumstances where women do not have access to period necessities. In some instances, cultural stigma around periods decrease access as women are afraid to be seen purchasing period products, or working with period products in public (e.g. cleaning hand-made pads).
When women don’t have access to period products, there are major cultural and medical repercussions. In many countries in Africa and Asia girls stop attending school when their periods begin, causing them to miss 11% of the school year. Eventually, they fall behind and/or leave schooling altogether.
In India, 70% of reproductive health diseases among women are due to lack of menstrual hygiene. Women also suffer banishment during their periods, forced to live out of the house in makeshift huts, sometimes causing death due to exposure.
Women are also forced to choose where to allocate their funds. Do they buy household goods, food, and provide for their children’s needs? Or do they purchase a clean sanitary napkin?
What you can do
Fortunately, period stigma and period poverty are gaining public attention. There are many great organisations you can donate to or get involved with. In the United States Period. The Menstrual Movement helps women in local communities. In the United Kingdom, Bloody Good Period focuses on refugee women
and FreePeriods tackles period poverty in schools. In Africa and Asia Freedom Cups focuses on education and providing menstrual cups. Afripads and Makapads teaches women and girls how to make their own menstrual pads. In France Les Petites Glo (the younger version of Les Glorieuses’ newsletter) also launched #StopPrecariteMenstruelle, the campaign fights for free access to menstrual pads and tampons in every French middle school and high schools.
Donating period necessities to your local homeless shelters and foodbanks is also a good idea. They’re often stated as high-need items. And, as always, petition your government to take period poverty seriously and eliminate the pink tax! Menstrual health and hygiene impacts women’s economic lives, their security, and their health. It should be taken seriously. Period.
Imène Maharzi, founder of OwnYourCash*, has a tip for women entrepreneurs: take an early interest in their personal situation in terms of money. “Knowing how much time you have to grow your business without being paid is crucial for choices you will make in developing your project.”. In other words if you work daily on your project as you work for another company “you have the time to build something”, but, if you have to have an in income with your own project in 18 months, and that a technical development phase is to be expected, the search for funding is an absolute emergency!”. This will avoid, according to the specialist, “unpleasant surprises, and it will help you find ways to realize the full potential of your project.”
*OwnYourCash is an educational platform that trains a new generation of Business Angels to facilitate access to financing for projects co-founded by women.
#EllesComptent, OwnYourCash recently launched this campaign. Their goal : change attitudes about women and their relationship to money and advocate for better funding for women entrepreneurs. “The essence of the message #EllesComptent is that the power linked to women’s money should be made visible to women themselves. To make them count,” explains Imène Maharzi. The movement is supported by 15 companies co-founded by women and 15 committed personalities. And you?
BNP Paribas signed the association’s charter #JamaisSansElles. A first for a CAC 40 group. The text “obliges the company’s managers not to participate in events, panels, round tables, internally or externally, involving more than three people and where no woman is represented”, explains L’Express. Will this signature be followed by other groups in the CAC 40?
Organizing the revolution is a bit complicated, so there’s nothing better than a dedicated notebook Les Glorieuses x Juniqe to make a retro planning to bring down the patriarchy while staying organized! Our notebooks are beautiful, they are in A5 format (14.8 x 21 cm) and their pages are all with lines.
//Conference registration mandatory// Les Glorieuses have the honour to invite you to the conference: #5November16h47 – Les femmes ne sont pas coupables. The conference will take place on Wednesday, January 22 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am at the Canadian Embassy (130 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris). Rebecca Amsellem will engage in a conversation with 3 speakers (Isabelle Hudon the Canadian ambassador in France, Yolande Libene, CEO of Bossie and Élise Goldfarb et Julia Layani two businesswomen) in order to make women feel free from guilt of being
less paid. The conference will be followed by a question and answer session. Are you interested? Register here !
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Uma has been with Women’s March Global since March 2017, initially as a volunteer and then as the former Director of Global Community. Prior to Women’s March Global, Uma was a high-school Chemistry teacher, worked in the Medical field as a Medical Lab Technologist, and served in the United States Army as an active duty soldier for nearly six years. Uma has been awarded numerous commendations and achievement awards for her leadership and duty during her time in service. Uma has been a TEDx speaker, sharing how we can foster community through development work. She is a proud first generation Indian American, U.S. Army veteran, and forever will be a Science nerd. The motto that fuels Uma as an activist and community builder is by Alice Walker: “Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.”
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNER
For more than a 100 years, L’Oréal has been dedicated to beauty. With its international flotilla of 36 brands and its 86.000 employees, the Group achieved 26.9 billion euros of sales, its best year of sales growth in more than 10 years in 2018.
L’Oréal has long been a leader in gender equality. Worldwide, as of 2018, women account for 69% of our workforce, 47% of our management committee members, 31% of our Executive Committee members and 54% of our key positions.
L’Oréal firmly believes in Diversity and Inclusion, and is convinced that Women’s leadership must be promoted in order to achieve a more
inclusive workplace. Its commitments across the years have marked the Group as one of the leading organisations globally: in 2018, women represent 46% of the board membership, 54% of the Group’s key positions, and 66% of the Global brand general managers. L’Oréal was ranked Top gender-balanced company in Europe by Equileap in 2018 and is among the TOP 100 companies in the Bloomberg 2018 Gender Equality Index.