Although Nadya Okamoto is only 20 years old, she has started her own non-profit and written a book about her endeavors. Her mission: period advocacy. During a brief stint of homelessness as a teenager, Okamoto came face to face with the reality that for many women, paying for menstrual products is a privilege, not a right.
This experience inspired Okamoto to start her non-profit, PERIOD, which fights for menstrual education, provides period products for those in need, and lobbies to end the “period tax”, the 4 to 9% U.S. tax on tampons and pads. Her organization has inspired 230 high school chapters and partnerships with Tampax, Kotex, and DivaCup to provide more than 380,000 “period packs” to those in need.
Okamoto’s new book, Period Power: A Manifesto for the Period Movement, hopes to inspire women to become activists and end the stigma around menstruation. Her work has recently convinced Portland’s Public School district to invest $25,000 into making menstrual products available for students. Next, she has her eyes on getting big states, like California, to join Australia and India in repealing their period tax.