KAALI: Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day
The big picture behind our mission to ensure access to free period care for all
This story was originally published on the KAALI Blog.
Today is May 28th, also known as Menstrual Hygiene Day. We join a united front of individuals, organizations, businesses, and the media in breaking the silence surrounding the topic of menstruation. Through continued activism, all of us strive to create a world that actively supports womxn and girls — so that they can live their healthiest lives and reach their full potential.
Womxn in today’s world fight to overcome a plethora of challenges, in all aspects of their lives. Worrying about their period shouldn’t be one of them!
KAALI was founded on the principle that everyone deserves access to period care. We envision a future in which people with periods will never have to worry about carrying period products again. How? Our dispensers — which we intend to install in as many restrooms as possible across the country — will provide free tampons and pads with a simple text.
Our Founding Story
The idea for KAALI arose from a simple personal experience. Founder Becca Berelson found herself in a conundrum when she was tampon-less and pad-less while on her period — with only a broken and empty coin-operated dispenser for menstrual products in front of her.
Amidst her sheer frustration, Becca came to a startling realization: if products for basic hygiene like toilet paper are provided for free, why aren’t tampons and pads free too? It’s 2020… why are antiquated, defunct coin dispensers still the standard for obtaining period products in public bathrooms?
An activist and dedicated leader at heart, Becca took action. Helming KAALI as the founder and CEO, she began working to make free, accessible menstrual products the norm — harnessing the power of technology to create smart period product dispensers that menstruators can text for a free tampon or pad. Becca’s dream further solidified into reality after she won 1st place at the Million Dollar Women Summit Pitch Competition and received a $5k cash prize to fund and expand KAALI projects such as the Period Pack Program, which provides period care to healthcare workers. KAALI was also accepted into the cohort of Berkeley Skydeck, UC Berkeley’s premier startup accelerator.
Why We Care
Every day, more than 800 million people menstruate around the world — more than the total number of people in Europe! Imagine an entire continent of people on their period at the same time. The fact that menstruation is relevant to so many people is why menstrual equity is such a critical issue for everyone to know about and support, and why we are so dedicated to this cause.
That’s why KAALI is so much more than merely a business. We are an organization fighting tirelessly for menstrual equity in all communities; in order to realize our mission, advocacy is fundamental to our work. As our founder states:
At the end of the day, KAALI is about creating an environment where we ALL feel comfortable discussing periods; where period stigma and period shame end once and for all; where everyone can finally have a worry-free period. With KAALI, all the typical problems evaporate, and we are left with FREE period care when we need it, where we need it.
The Bigger Picture
KAALI isn’t just a disruptor in the healthtech space — we’re part of a growing global movement to promote awareness and enforcement of menstrual health, gender equity, and body literacy. Our efforts in industry and advocacy drive positive change in synergy with other groups, companies, and individuals — be it activists, researchers, decision-makers, or funders.
All of us are celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day today, an annual awareness event on May 28th that unites participants at the local, national, and global level in support of unhindered access to quality menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all womxn and girls. As this joint force actively champions the reversal of stigmas about menstruation and open discussion about period-related issues, we will be able to realize our shared goals for menstrual hygiene and education.
Especially now that the world is amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that we must take initiative is even more vital. It’s no surprise that #ItsTimeForAction is the core message of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020, in line with the #PeriodsInPandemics theme. KAALI is doing its part to raise awareness about the menstrual health campaign on social media, as well as to aid healthcare professionals on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts through our Period Pack Program.
You, too, can easily get involved petitioning government representatives with our template and sharing on our posts on social media! Today, make sure to use the #ItsTimeForAction and #PeriodsInPandemics hashtags, along with #MHDAY2020.
To support MH Day today and show your continued love for KAALI, follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn! For effortless access to regular updates from about KAALI, our work, and everything periods, sign up for our amazing newsletter. Finally, subscribe to our articles on Medium to keep up with all of our refreshing, new content!