In this week’s bumper 72-page Big Issue you will find a very special mini-magazine that we produced in collaboration with leading period poverty campaigners and social enterprise stars Hey Girls.
The 24-page special mini-magazine – which features a close-up of a menstrual cup on the cover – is all about why we need to smash period stigma, menstrual products, poverty, activism, the environment and what we can all do to make a big difference in the world by taking little steps. This is the first time a mainstream UK publisher has printed a magazine that is devoted entirely to periods from cover-to-cover. Inside you’ll find contributions from social enterprise champion Caitlin Moran and #Pads4Dads campaign conversation-starter, Michael Sheen.
Recent research found that one in 10 girls and young women had experienced period poverty and sometimes had to resort to using items like old newspaper, rags or socks because they couldn’t afford pads or tampons. Many have even missed out on education because of it. With this mini-magazine, The Big Issue and Hey Girls aim to raise awareness and show what we all can do to change things.
Since 2018 Hey Girls has been leading the fight against period poverty, driving change at government policy level, improving menstrual health education for girls and boys in schools and providing free products for all in colleges, schools and universities. They have encouraged football clubs to make products free in women’s toilets, and help employers embrace workplace period dignity by making free products freely available for all staff.
The Big Issue has championed organisations that tackle period poverty for several years. That includes Hey Girls, who we supported through our social investment arm Big Issue Invest.
Big Issue Editor Paul McNamee said: “We are proud to be part of Hey Girls’ success. They’re a smart, righteous, clear-sighted organisation. They grew with help from Big Issue Invest, so we have been linked since early days. It’s fitting that this first ever mini-mag devoted to period poverty and what comes next should be a collaboration between The Big Issue and Hey Girls.