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Exploring the Current States and Emerging Priorities of the Menstrual Equity and Period Poverty Movements in the United States and the United Kingdom

Spencer, Noelle Elizabeth (2023) Exploring the Current States and Emerging Priorities of the Menstrual Equity and Period Poverty Movements in the United States and the United Kingdom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Menstrual health is an important health topic concerning women, girls, and people with periods, particularly those who have inequitable experiences related to menstruation. Two of the most well-known movements to improve menstrual health experiences are the menstrual equity and period poverty movements. This dissertation explores the current state and emerging priorities of these movements in the United States and United Kingdom.

Paper 1 investigates the role of policy in advancing discourse and change addressing menstrual equity and alleviating period poverty. Through concept mapping, participants identified community, institutional, and national level policy initiatives that address menstrual equity and period poverty. Initiatives were sorted into groups and rated by importance and how realistic they were to accomplish. Participants discussed generated maps and figures during group discussions, including priorities, and topics missing from the data.
Paper 2 explores advocates and organizations promoting menstrual equity and awareness of period poverty through semi-structured in-depth interviews. Participants discussed key terms, modes of entry into, and experiences of working within the movements.
Paper 3 examines barriers and facilitators to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts in organizations that promote menstrual equity and alleviation of period poverty through semi-structured in-depth interviews.
The key findings of this dissertation include that (a) initiatives focusing on education and funding are integral to positive change with facilitators ranging from parents to national governments, (b) advocates, activists, researchers, and volunteers enter these movements through many avenues and hold diverse views on the use of key terms and inclusive language, and (c) a lack of funding is a major barrier for recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive volunteer and paid workforce.
These dissertation findings contribute (a) description of barriers and facilitators to DEI efforts that are expected to inform organizations working to increase DEI, (b) insights into opportunities for recruitment and topics important to cohesive functioning of menstrual health organizations, and (c) future-oriented actionable initiatives and a conceptual model to support development of policies that can advance the missions of the period poverty and menstrual equity movements.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Spencer, Noelle Elizabethnes80@pitt.edunes80
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.edumaterry
Committee MemberVostral,
Committee MemberHawk, Marymary.hawk@pitt.edumary.hawk
Committee MemberBaumann, Sara E.sarabaumann@pitt.edusarabaumann
Committee MemberSalter, Cynthia L.cys6@pitt.educys6
Committee MemberJarlenski, Marianmarian.jarlenski@pitt.edumarian.jarlenski
Date: 24 August 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 August 2023
Approval Date: 24 August 2023
Submission Date: 10 August 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 215
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: period poverty, menstrual health, concept mapping, interviews, menstrual equity
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2023 13:27
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2023 13:27


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