In light of the financial problems facing low-income girls and women in accessing pads and tampons, the New York City Council made a unanimous vote to offer menstrual hygiene products to various institutions. This is because the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products is related to psycho-social and health problems. Among the proposed institutional beneficiaries of this initiative, include homeless shelters, prisons as well as public schools.
Upon being enacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York will become the first city in the United States to launch such an important initiative. The New York Cited that pads and tampons are necessities not luxuries. Julissa Ferrares, a councilor of the city, supported the mayor and was glad to be recognized as the “period legislator”.
The programme is set to follow the toilet paper initiative that is freely available for both school and public restrooms. In a show of support to this menstrual equity initiative, all the councilors voted for it.
The bill on school supply requires the pads and tampons to be offered freely to students in public school toilets, which serve female pupils between 6-12 grade or those aged between eleven to eighteen. Though various schools in NYC offer the feminine hygiene products free of charge, not many students utilize the chance. This is because of time constraints and embarrassment.
When the new law becomes operational, NYC’s department of corrections is expected to provide the sanitary pads and tampons to female inmates incarcerated in facilities located in this city. Orange is the New Black showcased that the restricted access to the sanitary items can trigger sales of such products on the prison black market.