In Poland, Pink boxes support women in need
Rzeszow, a city in Poland, has recently put “Pink Boxes” in various public spaces throughout the city. These small containers provide free menstrual products to women in need, which helps with reducing the stigma surrounding menstruation. Ultimately, the initiative aims at supporting women who might suffer from period poverty.
The boxes have been used in other Polish municipalities for a few years, such as Sopot, Gdańsk and Łódź. People can usually find them in libraries, parks, public transportation hubs or at schools; at the moment, 43 schools in Rzeszow have implemented them. Inside the boxes are multiple types and sizes of hygienic products, from wipes and pads to tampons. They also contain information about menstrual health and hygiene.
The boxes can be restocked by institutions or private sponsors as well as in accordance with the project’s principle: take it if you need it, leave it if you have excess.
Period poverty is a big issue in Poland. According to a report prepared for the Kulczyk Foundation, nearly half a million people in Poland cannot afford to buy sanitary products. Furthermore, 21 percent of schoolgirls are forced to leave school due to lack of the products while 10 percent of them don’t leave their house at all during their periods.
“That is why I decided to introduce pink boxes in Rzeszów,” explained Konrad Fijołek, the mayor of Rzeszów. Overall, the Pink Boxes initiative is a positive step towards supporting women’s health and well-being in Rzeszow. It serves as an example of how small, community-led initiatives can have a big impact on people’s lives for a minimum cost – less than 600 euros in the case of the “Pink Box initiative”.