Tackling period poverty in city's schools and supporting and empowering women

One in ten women can't afford to buy sanitary products and tampons in the UK, with a huge number missing up to a week of school each month due to period poverty.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 3:43 pm
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 5:31 pm
Cecily and Louisa
Cecily and Louisa

It is a shocking statistic and something that Louisa Wild and Cecily Blondel, the pair behind Sister Society, want to combat.

“I did a lot of research into causes we could work with and came across the Red Box Project, which campaigns for free sanitary products in schools,” said Louisa.“We met up with the team based in Brighton and Hove and decided t0 host a fundrasier.”

The Red Collection event will take place at Komedia Brighton on November, 14.“It will be a fun night,” said Cecily.“We have a fantastic compère and a DJ.“Loads of items have been donated and there will be a catwalk show where people can buy the items after.”

Sister Society ethos

Items include one of a kind t-shirts, floral dungarees, sparkly headpieces, laser-cut jewellery and screenprints.“The people who have donated items have been so generous we can’t thank everyone enough,” said Cecily.The event is sponsored by Lewes FC Women which means all money raised on the night will go to the charity.“They took part in one of our meet ups and when they heard about our event they jumped at the chance to be involved,” explained Louisa.“So many people we have spoken to about it have been so shocked that they want to help.”

Sister Society was launched earlier this year and is a feminist network based in Brighton. It brings like-minded females together to empower, support, engage and create with each other whether in person at regular events or online via their social channels and blog.

Their mission is to provide a safe space to discuss the ‘lived female experience in today’s society’ and to create real, lasting change in the lives of women and girls.“We found ourselves talking to other women, and some men, about what was going on in the world and found ourselves incredibly frustrated,” revealed Cecily.“So we created a safe place for women to connect.”

Part of this is opening the discussion in relation to period poverty.“For some girls it isn’t that they can’t afford sanitary products but maybe they are raised in an all male household and don’t know how to have those conversations,” said Louisa.“Or they are only eight years old and feel embarrassed and dirty.”

Cecily and Louisa with one of the Red Box Project boxes

Cecily added: “This isn’t a women’s issue but is something we need to talk about openly.“Sanitary products are not a luxury item but something that girls and women need.”

The proceeds raised will fund the set up of new red boxes in schools providing girls who cannot afford or do not have access to sanitary products including tampons, knickers and pads.

The Red Box Project in Brighton & Hove have had requests from 14 local schools for boxes which they cannot currently fulfil without more community support.“This event gives consumers the opportunity to actively participate in the fight against period poverty in their local area, whilst also treating themselves to some feel good fashion or making a start on their Christmas shopping,” said Cecily.

Tickets are £3 each. They can be purchased at the Komedia box office or online here

For more on Sister Society, visit www.sistersociety.co.uk Instagram: @sistersocietyuk and for Red Box Project, visit redboxproject.org