After a long, arduous battle and lots of metaphorical bloodshed, it seems that tampons and pads have finally conquered a victory. The fight for equal menstrual rights has been a painful one, but womens sanitary products are finally seeing progressthe city of New York is the first in the nation to require free pads and tampons in public facilities like schools, prisons, and shelters.
The New York City Council unanimously passed the 49-0 legislation on Tuesday by approving a set of bills proposed by councilwoman and finance chair, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. The passing of the bill follows the citys ban on the tampon tax that occurred last month, a monumental step for menstruation rights and equality. As The Cut notes, the city will now allocate funds for the hygiene products in the same way it budgets for toilet paper.
Ferreras-Copeland’s proposal will provide free pads and tampons to schools that serve 300,000 girls and will give better access to 23,000 women in homeless shelters, the AP wrote. Prisons will no longer limit the number of pads provided to inmates, and if the women choose, they can now request tampons, too.
The initial movement began at aQueens high school last September, sparking the beginnings of the menstrual-equity movement. With the support of Ferreras-Copeland, the dispensers at theHigh School of Arts and Businesswere filled with free pads and tampons at no expense to students. From there, women and activists alike have been continuing to test the limits and pushing for menstrual rights in New York.
Bleeding isnt cheapperiods can cost women more than $18,000 a year, creating financial barriers for women to access these necessary products. As of this year, 15 of the 40 states that had a “tampon tax”lifted it,easing the strain on women’s wallets and the strain for power. Though the war for vaginas is nowhere near over, it is at least a push in the right direction.
The New York City Council tweeted with the hashtag #menstruationmatters in light of the legislation, quoting Ferreras-Copeland amid the tampon craze. History has been made, and it’s in honor of something bigger than a pad or tamponit’s in honor of women’s general health around the entire country.
H/T The Cut
Illustration via Max Fleishman (Licensed)