Last month the New York City Council passed laws requiring the City to provide free menstrual hygiene products in schools, homeless shelters and jails. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Feminine hygiene products are essential for the health and well-being of women and girls. Inadequate menstrual hygiene management is associated with both health and psycho-social issues, particularly among low-income women. Access to feminine hygiene products has proven to be limited for certain populations, including public school students, the homeless, and incarcerated women. * * *
“Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury for women, but rather an essential part of women’s health,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Whether it’s in public schools, shelters, or even our city jails, giving women access to these products is a no-brainer, and long overdue. I’d like to thank Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and all my colleagues for their work and leadership on this crucial legislative package.”
“I am so proud that the Council will pass three pieces of sensible yet groundbreaking legislation which will guarantee access to menstrual hygiene products to tens of thousands of New Yorkers. For students who will no longer miss class because they do not have a pad or tampon to mothers at shelters and women in prison who will have access to these critical yet often overlooked products, this package makes our City a more fair place. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Women’s Issues Chair Laurie Cumbo, and all my colleagues who again are setting a standard for equality and access for the rest of the country to follow,” said Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
“The provision of free feminine hygiene products in public schools is an important service to students who would otherwise not be able to afford them,” said NYC Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, co-prime sponsor of Intro 1128-A. “These free tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers will ensure that girls and young women avoid the discomfort and embarrassing situations that can get in the way of learning. I am proud to work alongside Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland to make our schools safer and healthier places for our students.”
The full press release is here.
UPDATE 7/15/16: NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio signed the legislation into law on July 13, 2016. The mayor’s press release, including statements from a variety of City Council members and community supporters, is here.