Pandora’s Box: Lifting the Lid on Menstruation

A company which funds a feature length documentary on menstruation and period poverty? Surprsing to say the least. When you discover it is the company which makes the Diva Cup that is behind this you begin to understand. Diva International makes the Diva Cup, a reusable menstral cup.

The film was made by an almost exclusively female production team. Really pulls the curtain back on the social and economic injustice faced by women just because they menstruate.

Menstruation is something that roughly half the people on the planet have experienced and yet it is a subject which is rarely talked about. More than that menstruation has led to women being shamed, silenced and pushed to the margins. Equality for women is still a pipe dream while this is happening. All across the globe.

Though poverty is worse for women in other parts of the world, the film focuses on poverty and how it hits women hard on this continent. 12 million folks across the United States live under the poverty line. This usually results in them not having access to menstrual products.

Despite the bleak picture there are some people around the world who are fighting. Fighting for women. Fighting for change. Trying to get menstrual products deemed necessary (unbelievable that they aren’t already), so they won’t be taxed similar to food, groceries and prescription medecine.

Activists are fighting to have menstral products available to young people in schools. They want the slow moving school boards and governments to enact policies and laws. Fighting to represent the LGBTQ community as well. A community which is often forgotten and even more marginalized. They have even more impediments to gaining access to affordable menstrual products.

Interviews are done across the globe. In India, Canada, U.S., England, Uganda, and Kenya. They are done with activists, thinkers and innovators. Shows how woman have been ostracized just because they bleed. How women have been seen as lesser as a result. In other parts of the world women are banned from touching food or being in certain buildings with their families while they are bleeding. Girls living in Africa do not go to school while they are menstruating. How menstrual products are withheld from women in prison as a form of punishment and control. All this is not talked about. The women have to suffer in silence. Feeling like no one cares. Like the treatment they receive is normal.

This Canadian documentary, directed by Rebecca Snow (Episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? and Museum Secrets), has won multiple awards. Its goal is to educate and enlighten as well as fight for women. Refuse to be silent anymore. Bring a voice to women. Fight for equality. Attempt to put an end to period poverty. Urge us all to be part of the solution, if we can.

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