Sophia Bush spends a lot of time advocating for issues she cares about, such as ensuring gender equality, protecting the environment and registering people to vote. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see the actress’s own name show up on a ballot one day.
“I think that eventually that’s something I would consider,” Bush, 37, tells Yahoo Entertainment when asked about the possibility of running for political office. “As a creative person, I’m a storyteller and an artist, there are some stories that I’m working on right now that I really want to tell, and then I also think about how, when I’ve been able to cross a couple of those things off of my grand goal list, that it would probably feel very natural to start thinking about running for office.”
She adds that it “doesn’t feel like it’s on the immediate horizon,” but “sort of a later-in-life plan.”
She’s previously collaborated with Pencils of Promise to build schools around the world and worked in schools stateside with the Girl Project, a Glamour magazine initiative to support the education of girls around the world, among other efforts. This month, she’s teamed up with Always to help end period poverty, or girls not having access to feminine hygiene products, which which makes them lose confidence and miss school.
“To learn that one in five girls in the United States faces period poverty and misses school because of [it] was just was so shocking to me,” says Bush, citing numbers from a study conducted by the brand. “And I think that we naively or ignorantly assume that something like that could only happen somewhere else.”
Throughout the month of September, people are encouraged to like or comment on Always’s social media posts tagged #EndPeriodPoverty, buy a pack of Always pads or share a short film on the subject, shot by National Geographic, with the campaign hashtag, to raise awareness and prompt donations from the company of up to 1 million period products.
“We’re having these conversations about making sure women have a seat at the table. If girls are being held back from school, if girls are eventually dropping out of school because they fall so far behind, they’re not going to university,” Bush says. “They’re not getting in the room to get the job they’re smart enough and capable enough to do, because their education has been compromised. So there is real, lasting, generational and societal impact to a crisis like this, and nobody’s talking about it.”
Bush has a suggestion about how to acknowledge the issue.
“A bunch of my girlfriends and I, years ago, made a commitment,” she explains. “We were like, alright guys, whenever we’re out somewhere and somebody needs a tampon, pass it around like a cigar. Make it an open conversation. It feels important to remove the women’s body conversation from the brown paper bag on the bottom shelf. Like, hello, we’re 51 percent of the population.”
The One Tree Hill alum also has devoted time to the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment, founded in January 2018. In her eyes, there’s been some progress made, just not enough.
“I think there’s a lot of work to be done to actually see institutionalized change across all industries, not just entertainment. But I do think that the first step is always a conversation, and I think the fact that we’re having the conversation is incredibly important,” Bush says. “I just want to see the conversation be followed with substantive action.”
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