In the US, over 12 million women from the ages 12 to 44 live below the Federal Poverty Line. Additionally, 1 in 5 low-income women reports missing work, school, or similar commitments due to a lack of period supplies. Around the world women and girls do not have access to feminine hygiene products.
Meet Gold Award Scholarship recipient, Andrea Ramos, who's project Code Red advocates for the elimination of sales tax on period products and brings attention to the infrastructure to support hygienic practices that promote menstrual comfort and well-being.
For Andrea's Gold Award project, she took action against period poverty. For starters, she recruited similarly passionate friends, menstrual equity activists, and Girl Scouts to her team but she didn't stop there. Andrea took the lead by educating Texans, female students, and Girl Scouts on period poverty by hosting a virtual panel and a workshop that hosted guest speakers such as the Texas Menstrual Equity Coalition and Alexa Atkinson, founder of the non-profit Periods United. She even organized a period product drive and collected over 1,500+ donations for shelter and schools in Austin,Tx.
"When period poverty prevents girls from attending school, educational institutions need to do more to support their female students," Andrea said. Andrea and her collegues belief period poverty should also be of concern to public health officials. When essential items become unaffordable or unavailable, women use unsafe alternatives including dirty rags, toilet paper, or leaves, which put them at risk of toxic shock syndrome and infection.
The Girl Scouts of the USA Gold Award Scholarship recognizes one outstanding Gold Award Girl Scout per council whose project exemplifies the core components of the Gold Award. Andrea's Gold Award project “Code Red” demonstrates measurable and sustainable impact and addresses an issue of national and/or global significance, proving that Girl Scouts of courage, confidence, and character truly do make the world a better place.
Her accomplishments will endure for generations to come and serve as a powerful example of Girl Scouting in action. To view more information on how you can educate yourself on Andrea's Gold Award project, Code Red, and it's inspring mission check out CodeRedTexas.org.