Project Period with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Period poverty affects the well-being of people all over the world. It is known that 1 in 10 fifteen-year-old girls in Kenya are having sex for money, in order to pay for menstrual products. Project Period is a collective established by Purpose as a part of the Global Development Campaigns Lab, to amplify and convene existing allies to fight global period poverty.
Period poverty affects the well-being of young women all over the world. Over 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty. Evidence suggests that of more than 1,000 girls who were surveyed, nearly half were embarrassed by their period and many were afraid to ask for help because of the stigma. This suppression of conversations related to menstruation is hindering progressive policy on periods across the world.
We worked to create an integrated campaign on the issue, with a focus on incorporating a global narrative into the national discussion on period poverty.
Period poverty has gained a large amount of awareness and inspired action from individuals and organisations across the UK. We have the opportunity to amplify and elevate this conversation to a global level, and drive support for the fight on period poverty for people everywhere.
Theory of Change
If we talk openly about periods, we can increase salience on issues related to women’s health and gender equality, shift conversations and inspire action.
By collaborating with micro-influencers from communities adjacent to period poverty, we can tap into engaged networks and activate new audiences on the issue of global period poverty.
The brand was designed in a way that would make it adaptable for partners and content creators, so it wouldn’t overshadow their existing brands, but sit adjacent to them.
We designed a bold visual system to generate excitement around the goal to end period poverty on a global scale. Project Period’s wordmark is dynamic, clean and serves as an overarching mark for our partner organisations. The colour palette along with the various textures customised for this brand add character to the visual system. These design elements play an active role in making Project Period an active force in spreading knowledge about period poverty across the world.
Leveraging the iconic symbol of the London black cab, Project Period branded a taxi in bloody menstrual projects to bring period poverty into public discourse. A London cab, dubbed “The Tampon Taxi” was a provocative initiative to bring attention to period poverty. The Tampon Taxi, with partners, handed out a total of 5,000 sanitary products to women at homeless shelters in need of period products, and also served as a place to hold conversation around period poverty and a conversation starter.
The taxi leveraged the visibility, recognition and normality of the London Black Cab as a vehicle to drive change and increase awareness to the general public about this issue. The taxi received coverage from The Huffington Post, BBC, and The Independent. It acquired support from diverse audiences, bringing cab drivers, micro-influencers, and the general public into the conversation of menstrual rights.
The Project Period team hosted a Pop-Up shop in Shoreditch, London, with 100% of the proceeds going toward ending global period poverty.
People were invited in to purchase art, books, products and merchandise related to periods and gender equality. Artists and small businesses from all over London kindly donated their work and products to support this venture. Within the pop-up shop, you could sign a paper version of a pad with your promise or commitment to take a stand against global period poverty.
Partnerships with non-traditional distributors such as Emma Gannon, Alice Liveing and the Gynae Geek help increased the reach of Project Period content to over 2 million people.
Project Period teamed up with Emma Gannon to record a live version of her chart topping podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete – all about periods! This Ctrl Alt Delete episode has received over 20,000 downloads to date and is listened to in over 100 countries.
Project Period assisted with the launch of Natalie Byrnes myth-busting book, Period. and hosted a panel discussion about the importance of talking about periods and period poverty openly and inclusively.
Thanks to everyone who came to our period podcast tonight - a live recording with @GynaeGeek @thisisourperiod @TashaJaneBishop all about how to take action to end period poverty and put stigmas to an end (also where is the tampon emoji?) pic.twitter.com/h2dP5xqJPW— Emma Gannon (@emmagannon) October 16, 2018
Tomorrow I'll be at @thisisourperiod's Period Project Pop-up Shop at @boxpark and think *YOU* should come too! I'm getting ready to 'absorb' some super menstrual activist vibes, and also make my visit a feature of next week's FIRST SUBSEX 'ZINE ISSUE! 👉 https://t.co/gwc3BQdtiX— Kirsty Bates (@cursedteacakes) September 24, 2018
By engaging new audiences and creating engagement points to talk openly about periods, the Project Period team has been able to increase salience on issues related to period poverty and gender equality, shift conversations and inspire action.
Project Period content has now reached over 2 million people. Through interactive offline events and a network of over 80 influencers and partners, we engaged with a number of supporters. Many of these supporters went on to take higher barrier actions, raising funds or awareness of Global period poverty to their own networks.
While Project Period elevated the national conversation on period poverty to a global level, our partners also secured a domestic policy victory. The coalition our team partnered with was able to make period supplies free in all UK schools. Now, these same organisations are expanding their fight to end period poverty internationally.