The Bloody Big Brunch: Tackling period poverty one Bloody Mary at a time
- Arusa Qureshi
- 8 March 2018
A boozy initiative to raise awareness of period poverty in the UK
In the spirit of some of the global campaigns that have taken strides towards tackling period poverty, the first ever Bloody Big Brunch is to take place in Glasgow this weekend, with Scots being invited to donate a box of tampons in exchange for a Bloody Mary. Period poverty may not currently be at the forefront of public consciousness but the growing recognition of the nature and extent of this issue has led to a greater drive to raise awareness and engender real change. With International Women's Day falling on Thu 8 Mar, now is as good a time as any to place a spotlight on the topic, breaking down the stigma that surrounds menstruation in the process.
A recent survey conducted by sanitary pad manufacturer Always found that over 137,700 girls have missed school in the last year because they couldn't afford sanitary products.The figure, though shocking, highlights the prevalence of period poverty in the UK, the effects of which result in women having to go to extraordinary lengths to gain access to basic sanitary products.
All tampons and pads received during the Bloody Big Brunch will be donated to The Trussell Trust in acknowledgement of an all-too-common problem which one in five women have experienced. The event has been created by creative agency WIRE, who will take the Bloody Big Brunch to different locations around the UK every month to keep the conversation going and encourage people to recognise this as an issue that affects women monthly.
Lee Beattie, Director of Wire, said: 'Aunt Flo, the blob, on the rag – we all have our nicknames for that time of the month. But it's time to remove the taboo of talking about periods so we can talk about period poverty.
Taxed as a non-essential luxury item, the reality is that sanitary products should be a basic essential available to all women. So we're using an actual luxury – brunching with a Bloody Mary in hand – to shine a light on this massive issue that lots of people – women and men – don't know much about.'
There has been a real drive in recent years to eradicate period poverty, particularly in Scotland where the government aims to introduce a scheme by August that will make free sanitary products available in Scotland's schools, colleges and universities. Labour MSP Monica Lennon has received significant support in her attempts to pass legislation in Holyrood, with her recent proposal to introduce a universal system of free provision of sanitary products receiving 96% backing.
Lennon's goal is for Scotland to lead the world in tackling period poverty and with the right amount of public support coupled with initiatives like the Bloody Big Brunch; this could certainly be the case.
Those who can't attend the events are welcome to hold their own brunches at home, inviting family and friends and asking guests to donate to the Bloody Big Brunch's JustGiving page.
The Bloody Big Brunch, Wee Guy's, Glasgow, Sat 10 Mar.