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The Period Project at Berkeley addresses menstrual inequity

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The Period Project is determined to both bring light to and dismantle menstrual inequality.


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APRIL 04, 2023

Allison Lu founded The Period Project at Berkeley, or TPP, in 2018 as she realized the potential the UC Berkeley community has to address period poverty.

Although TPP was briefly a chapter of PERIOD Inc., as of 2020 it is no longer affiliated with the organization in any way. However, the organization consistently partners with other organizations — both within and outside campus — to help address menstrual inequity in the community.

“Period poverty and menstrual inequity are invisibly present in our community,” said TPP president Pascale Mbeukeu.

Mbeukeu noted that many students at UC Berkeley suffer or have suffered from several forms of financial insecurity — and that as this occurs, period products often take lesser priority. She noted that menstrual poverty may go unseen, but it is certainly present, especially given that period products are not fully accessible on campus.

The Period Project is determined to both bring light to and dismantle menstrual inequality, according to Mbeukeu. Over the past five years, it has fought to end period poverty through fundraising, product drives, community outreach, education and lobbying for policies that will help promote equity for people with periods.

The club is structured into three committees: service, education and policy. Mbeukeu quotes the inspiration for the committees from Women’s Voices for the Earth, or WVE, and its definition of menstrual equity.

“The most commonly recognized definition (of menstrual equity) refers to the affordability, accessibility, and safety of menstrual products,” a WVE webpage reads. “But menstrual equity is not just defined by products — it is also about education and reproductive care.”

The club, now the only registered student organization on campus in this space, has donated hundreds of products to local shelters and partnered with People’s Park to help get sanitary care to community members in need.

Mbeukeu also cited the club’s role in organizing a California rally as part of the 2019 National Period Day protests, which ended with California Assembly Bill 150, permanently ending taxes on menstrual products across the state.

Next year, she noted, the organization is launching an annual TPP Benefit Luncheon in hopes of raising $10,000 by 2025, the year that they are set to publish a children’s book about culturally diverse menstrual education.

TPP is also in the midst of launching The Period Policy Institute, a “research arm” of the organization run by the policy committee. Their aim is to fill the gap in research surrounding menstrual equity and health policies, Mbeukeu said.

The Period Project is also taking a different approach to the competitive club culture at UC Berkeley, Mbeukeu said. With flexible attendance policies and a financial aid system, The Period Project at Berkeley hopes to foster a climate of inclusivity and dedication.

“We take pride in fostering real, genuine connections that keep members feeling loyal and dedicated for years,” Mbeukeu said.

Corrections: Due to misinformation from a source, a previous version of this article incorrectly said the Period Project helped pass Senate Bill 92, ending taxes on menstrual products for two years. In fact, it helped pass Assembly Bill 150, ending taxes on menstrual products permanently.

Contact Eleanor Dalton at 


MAY 02, 2023