PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – In an effort to address menstrual inequality, Miss Oregon USA — Manju Bangalore — is launching the Youth Institute for Menstrual Freedom in 2023 to teach young people how to organize for menstrual justice.

Bangalore is launching the institute through her non-profit Operation Period, which she began in 2015 to fight menstrual inequality, or the lack of access to menstrual products. She says this inequality disproportioanelty impacts people who are unhoused, students or those with a low-income.

In some cases, Bangalore says, menstrual inequality can lead to missed days at school or work because of the lack of product access.

“Regardless of where people are coming from, what their walk of life is, we have to agree that people deserve access to basic necessities,” Bangalore said.

Operation Period has distributed hundreds of thousands of menstrual products and has lead health education efforts around the world — even naming May International Menstrual Month, Bangalore said.

To continue health education, Bangalore says Operation Period will launch the Youth Institute for Menstrual Freedom in 2023 to formally train young people how to organize and fight for menstrual justice.

She added, “we are really fighting to create a world where menstruation holds no one back.”