SINGAPORE — Freedom Cups and Wunderman Thompson Singapore have unveiled a series of long copy newspaper ads titled ‘Period Poverty Chronicles’; bringing to light previously untold stories of underprivileged females who have no access to period products, clean water, and adequate wash facilities.
The goal of telling these stories is to spark discussions and rally sustainable action for Freedom Cups’ mission. The Singapore-based social enterprise is focused on getting education and reusable menstrual products into under-resourced communities through their buy-1, give-1 model.
Fact is, period poverty is a global problem that needs more of the world’s attention. According to a report by WASH United, Waggs and Unicef, it affects 1 in 4 people with periods worldwide. Growing up with little or no education around body literacy and reproductive health, these disadvantaged women and girls struggle in under-resourced communities like in the Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. Living typically unseen and unheard.
With this partnership, the stories of these females are now told in raw, powerful details in the first three Period Poverty Chronicles. Through the eyes of Tin-Tin, Kavitha and Aisyah, readers get to experience the unsettling, coming-of-age ordeals of young girls like them in Manila, Chennai and Kuala Lumpur. Stepping into their worlds, readers will also see the deeper implications of cultural stigmas and social complexities that combine to limit their opportunities for a better future––threatening to lock them into cycles of feminised poverty.
Vanessa Paranjothy, co-founder of Freedom Cups, says, “We are doing our part to alleviate this goliath, age-old and multifaceted issue. With our buy-1, give-1 model that allows us to provide a Freedom Cup to underprivileged females in need. We believe these cups that last for several years are the best option for the body, wallet and planet.”
Reinforcing the storytelling is a creative concept built on the insight that newspapers were used as a desperate alternative by women who can’t afford sanitary pads. Though set against different social backdrops, each Period Poverty Chronicle invariably describes how a young girl is forced to use a newspaper sheet like the one in the reader’s hands to manage her bleed. To ensure each read is sobering yet absorbing, the design is restrained; crafting each story around the shape of a pad that simply wasn’t there, emphasising the aching absence of resources and possibilities.
Mateusz Mroszczak, Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Thompson Singapore adds, “These stories deserve to be read. It feels good to do long copy again.”
Period Poverty Chronicles will run in Singapore’s The Business Times in April, targeting the paper’s more affluent audiences. The series will soon be turned into OOH posters and a free podcast series voiced by local artists to ensure accessibility for all.
Client: Freedom Cups
Agency: Wunderman Thompson Singapore