Any conscious woman has thought to herself how do homeless women get pads and tampons? Do women in prison have access to pads and tampons if no one is putting money on their books? In fact, why aren’t tampons and pads just free? They’re a necessity. And let’s be honest, they’re kind of expensive.
Someone needs to do something about that.
Thankfully, New York City has stepped up to the plate. Last year, we wrote that city legislators were in the process of making tampons available for free. And now, according to the New York Times, the city is the first in the nation to present a legislative package that would ensure access to menstrual products in public schools, shelters and correctional facilities.
The move comes after several activists worked to raise awareness about the impact lack of access to menstrual products has on women.
As you might expect, the United States, is not the first nation to recognize this. Recently, Canada abolished what is called the tampon tax, the goods and services tax on menstrual products, last year. A petition caused the United Kingdom to eliminate their tax as well. And Kenya did better than eliminate the tax, they allocated the equivalent of $3 million per year for the distribution of free sanitary pads in schools in low income communities.
15 of the 40 states that still have the tampon tax are taking steps to change it. Illinois and New York have proposed laws that await the governor’s signature.
But the tax is not the only issue, which is why the proposed New York City law will provide access to people in schools. shelters and correctional facilities.
You can read more about the movement that led to this legislation at The New York Times.