Nearly one in four women in Canada have said they struggled to afford menstrual products for themselves or dependents. This has only worsened this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic – a plight Diva, makers of the DivaCup have aimed to address with the release of the award-winning documentary Pandora’s Box: Lifting the Lid on Menstruation on all major platforms on International Women’s Day on March 8th.

In the first-ever feature film of its kind, the documentary deep dives into the epidemic of period poverty and the fight for menstrual equity across the globe.

From American author Jennifer Weiss-Wolf’s fight to end the unfair taxation of menstrual products, to philanthropist and Kenyan MP Esther Passaris advocacy work for women’s rights in Africa, Pandora’s Box follows perspectives across the globe on the fight against period poverty and examines access to period care.  This revealing documentary uncovers stories hiding in plain sight: girls from Mumbai forced to stay home or drop out of school entirely because of lack of access to menstrual supplies; Incarcerated women in US prisons are denied of dignity in managing menstruation behind bars; young women in India too afraid to speak about their period due to social taboos, Pandora’s Box examines how period stigmas are causing another global pandemic.

In an eye-opening interview (published on our site in January 2020) with Carinne Chambers-Saini, Executive Producer of Pandora’s Box and CEO of Diva International Inc., she explained  “It breaks your heart when you see what women and people who menstruate have to deal with. People are still shunned and shamed merely because of their periods, humiliated to go to school because they have no menstrual products to use. One in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa miss school each year without a solution to manage their periods. This leaves them isolated and alone at home. In the film, we see that many girls who miss school are never able to return, fearful over the possibility of getting their periods in public.”

Some shocking statistics:

  • 70% of girls and women  in India cannot afford menstrual supplies.
  • 1 in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa miss school each year without a solution to manage their periods.
  • In England 1 in 10 girls cannot afford menstrual supplies.
  • 36 states in the U.S. still tax tampons and other menstrual products as non-essentials resulting in 25 million women in the U.S. who are living below the poverty line without consistent access to period products.

You can link and read our full interview here.

Listen to their podcast here.

Here’s the official trailer: