Category Archives: Women and Economics

Oregon Legislature Passes “Menstrual Dignity Act”

Oregon HB 3294, the Menstrual Dignity Act, passed both houses of the state legislature and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The bill provides access to free menstrual products in schools. There’s a short, easy-to-read description of the … Continue reading

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Free Period Products Coming to Public Bathrooms in Santa Clara County, California

In March, the Santa Clara (California) County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to stock half of all public restrooms in county facilities. News coverage here and here. Students at Stanford are now calling on their University to follow suit. See … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong (or Right) About Workplace Menstrual Leave Policies

From the University of Sydney, this news of a working group studying workplace menstrual leave policies: [R]esearchers found in a forthcoming paper that 17 countries have implemented or are considering menstrual policies, with Australian businesses leading the way. “Despite this … Continue reading

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Michoacán, Mexico Makes Menstrual Products Free Schools and Requires Menstruation-Related Education

Earlier this year Michoacán became the first state in Mexico to require schools to provide free menstrual products to students and to require menstruation-related education in schools.  The original legislative proposal is here (in Spanish). Additional news coverage is here … Continue reading

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Uruguay’s VAT on Menstrual Products is a Form of Gender Discrimination

Erika Johanna Lara-Vargas has published El Impuesto de Valor Agregado (IVA) en los productos de gestión menstrual en Uruguay: políticas públicas “neutras” al género vs feminismo estatal, in Revista Límbica Vol. II Núm. 2 (2021), ISSN 2718-7241.  Here’s the English-language … Continue reading

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Period Poverty, Menstrual Equity, Menstrual Justice, or Menstrual Health: Naming the Norms That Legal Scholars Seek

If 2015 was the “Year the Period Went Public,” maybe we’re now in the period period,  catamenial decennary, or menstrual age. Whatever words we use, it’s undeniable that menstruation-related issues have gained new traction in public discourse, academic scholarship, workplaces, … Continue reading

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What’s New in FemTech? You Can Find Out for $4,950

A market research company owned by Berkshire Hathaway has published a report called The COVID-19 Pandemic and a Rising Focus on Women’s Untapped Healthcare Needs are Transforming the Global Femtech Solutions Industry. To learn all about this, one needs only … Continue reading

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Findings from the “State of the Period 2021” Report

Thinx and PERIOD, a non-profit menstrual equity organization, has issued its State of the Period 2021 report. This follows up on a similar report issued in 2019. Here are some salient findings, all of which are direct quotes from the … Continue reading

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The SPOT Period: Philadelphia Non-Profit’s “Menstrual Hub” Addresses Period Poverty — It’s an Actual Building!

In February, 2021, the nonprofit organization No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit, Inc., founded by Lynette Medley, opened The SPOT Period, a physical gathering place that offers free menstrual products, menstruation-related counseling and education, a computer lab with three machines.  … Continue reading

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Menstrual Equity Advocate Dana Brooks Named One of “25 Women You Need to Know” by Tallahassee Democrat Newspaper

Florida attorney Dana Brooks has been named as one of the “25 Women You Need to Know” by the Tallahassee Democrat (here). Here is an excerpt from the Tallahassee paper’s profile: Brooks began her career in clinical social work, but … Continue reading

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Gov’t in New South Wales, Australia to Provide Free Menstrual Products in 30 Schools

The government in New South Wales, Australia has announced a pilot program to provide free menstrual products in 30 government schools. Here is an excerpt from the government press release: Free menstrual hygiene products will be available to students in … Continue reading

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A New Environmentally-Friendly Banana Fiber Menstrual Pad Coming to a Store Near You?

India-based researchers Krishnashree Achuthan, Sharanya Muthupalani, Vysakh Kani Kolil, Anju Bist, Krishna Sreesuthan & Aswathy Sreedevi have published the results of their study: A Novel Banana Fiber Pad for Menstrual Hygiene in India: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study, 21 BMC … Continue reading

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13 Short Symposium Essays in Connection with “Are You There, Law? It’s Me, Menstruation?” @ColumbiaJGL

On April 9/10, 2021, the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Judy Blume’s book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and the 30th anniversary of the journal with a symposium … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal History, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Law Teaching, Race and Racism, Sisters In Other Nations, Socioeconomic Class, Upcoming Conferences, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on 13 Short Symposium Essays in Connection with “Are You There, Law? It’s Me, Menstruation?” @ColumbiaJGL

Montclair (NJ) High School Students Prevented from Placing Donated Menstrual Products in School Restrooms

A couple of years ago, students at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey began placing in school bathrooms various menstrual products they gathered through school-wide tampon and pad donation drives. By all accounts, the project seems to have been well-received by teachers … Continue reading

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Giorkaris & Pouliasi on “Tampon Taxes and Gender (In)Equality: The Cyprus Case Study”

Dr Ioannis P. Giokaris (University of Nicosia) and Maria Eleni Pouliasi (O.P. Jindal Global University) have published To Tax or Not to Tax? Tampon Taxes and Gender (In)Equality: The Cyprus Case Study, 21 Cyprus Rev. 257 (2020). Here is the … Continue reading

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Germany Lowers its #TamponTax but Still Discriminates

Following the model of online campaigns against the tampon tax in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and the U.S., in March 2018, two German women launched a petition at Change.org urging “Die Periode ist kein Luxus – senken Sie die Tamponsteuer!” … Continue reading

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Michigan Governor Proposes Budget That Will Allow Repeal of State’s Tampon Tax

Back in August, the team over at Period Equity filed a class action law suit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s sales tax on menstrual products and seeking a refund (with interest) for prior taxes paid by approximately 2.4 million consumers. … Continue reading

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“Young Australian of the Year” Isobel Marshall Honored for Menstrual Equity Work

Every year in Australia, the non-profit (and government owned) National Australia Day Council gives several awards: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero. The awards are meant to serve … Continue reading

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Copenhagen Business School Colloquium on “Gender Equality Aspects Amid a Pandemic: Discussions on Tax Measures and Fiscal Policy”

The Interdisciplinary Research Group on Taxation and Fiscal Policy at the Copenhagen Business School is sponsoring a 9-part colloquium series featuring researchers from around the world. On February 17, 2021, the session is “Gender Equality Aspects Amid a Pandemic: Discussions … Continue reading

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Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, “The Fight for Menstrual Equity Continues in 2021”

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (NYU Brennan Center and Period Equity) has published a new op-ed in Marie Claire. Here’s what she calls “the five menstrual equity policies we should commit to fighting for in 2021:” End the Tampon Tax Across the U.S. … Continue reading

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#BlackTaxpayersMatter: Intersection of Race, Tax Systems, Laws and Enforcement

#BlackTaxpayersMatter: Intersection of Race, Tax Systems, Laws and Enforcement Date: Friday, February 5, 2021 Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST Format: Free non-CLE Webinar Sponsor: ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Human Rights, … Continue reading

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Bye-Bye U.K Tampon Tax

Global Citizen has a good write-up here about the elimination of VAT on menstrual products, coincident with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, as of January 1, 2021. Other than Ireland, all other EU countries impose a VAT on menstrual … Continue reading

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Austria Lowered Its Tampon Tax But Missed an Opportunity to Eliminate Its Discriminatory Law

The Austria Federal Council (the upper house of the country’s parliament) has approved the COVID-19 Tax Measures Act. See here. Apart from the extension of the lower 5% VAT tax on certain sectors (such as hospitality) and the creation of … Continue reading

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This Week in #MenstrualEquity News

This week in menstrual equity news from around the world…. The Scottish Parliament passed a bill making menstrual products available at no charge to all who need them. Products will be in all schools (including university) and the government can … Continue reading

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New Article: “Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity”

Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) and I have posted to SSRN a draft of our article Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity, 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021). Here is the abstract: Period poverty is … Continue reading

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New Class Action to Tampon Tax in Michigan

In case you missed it, there is a new lawsuit challenging the Michigan state sales tax on menstrual products. The Detroit News has a story (here). Emily Beggs, Clare Pfeiffer and Wei Ho are seeking class action status on behalf of … Continue reading

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New Book Announcement: Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies

Here is the publisher’s description of the newly-published Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies (Bobel, C., Winkler, I.T., Fahs, B., Hasson, K.A., Kissling, E.A., Roberts, T.-A. eds.) : This open access handbook, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive … Continue reading

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Should Breastfeeding Be Treated as Taxable Labor?

Over at the Lily, I read with some interested this article: Breastfeeding Isn’t Free. What if That Work Was Included in the GDP? Here is an excerpt: Of the nearly four million babies born in the United States every year, … Continue reading

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Bauer on Implicit Bias in the Tax Code

Anne Bryson Bauer (unaffiliated) has published We Can Do It? How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Perpetuates Implicit Gender Bias in the Code, 43 Harv. J. Gender & Law 1 (2019). Here is the abstract: In December of 2017 … Continue reading

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How Much Do “Free” Tampons Cost Schools? $2.48 Per Student Per Year in Cambridge, MA

I have previously speculated (here) about what it would cost for public schools in Yonkers, New York to put menstrual products in the bathrooms of public schools serving students in grades 6 through 12. According to press reports (here), the … Continue reading

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There’s Nothing Dainty About the “Pink Tax”

Received in an email today from Sarah Shirkey (Pace Law 2021)  who is working on a research paper, and posted with permission: The phrase “pink tax” is so condescending – how about we call it what it is: gender-based price … Continue reading

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Tampon Shortages in a Pandemic

From the New York Times, this column about hte hoarding of menstrual products in these unsual times.  Here’s an excerpt: Just as the pandemic has disrupted work, school and social routines, so it has disrupted the menstrual supply chain. Those … Continue reading

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Coronavirus Aid Package Would Change Rules on Purchases of #Tampons, Pads

The corona virus aid package before the house contains a provision that would allow flexible spending accounts to be used to pay for menstrual products.  Business Insider has the story (here): The change in law would allow people to pay … Continue reading

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High School Students in Idaho Taking on the Tampon Tax – @MHS_Bobcats

Students at Madison High School in Idaho are taking on the tampon tax. The local newspaper, the Standard Journal, reported here that a group of seniors are proposing solutions as part of their “Project Citizen” work: Adeline Winn, Madison Jensen, … Continue reading

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Utah Poised to Repeal #Tampon Tax

Yesterday the Utah legislature passed a bill that will exempt from menstrual products (tampons, pads, etc.) from state sales tax.  Read more here.

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Sex Inequality in the U.S. and French #Tax Laws

Mary Roche Waller (Michigan JD 2017) has published Sex Inequality in the United States and French Income Tax Filing Systems, 73 Tax Lawyer 207 (2019). Here is the abstract: This Article explains and compares the joint and family income taxation … Continue reading

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Constitutional Court of Colombia Invalidates Tax on Menstrual Hygiene Products, Requires Bogotá to Provide Supplies for Homeless Women

Mónica Arango Olaya (DPhil Student, Oxford) has a fantastic write-up of two recent decisions by the Colombian Constitutional Court: In late 2018, the Court adopted Decision C-117 of 2018, holding that a provision imposing 5% VAT tax on tampons and … Continue reading

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Goldblatt & Steele on “Inequality Related to Menstruation”

Beth Goldblatt (University of Technology Sydney) and Linda Steele (University of Technology Sydney) have published a new article, Bloody Unfair: Inequality Related to Menstruation – Considering the Role of Discrimination Law, 41 Sydney L. Rev. 293 (2019): Drawing on growing … Continue reading

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80% of Teens Report Missing Class Time or Knowing Someone Who Has Missed Class Time Because of Lack of Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

The results of a Harris Insights & Analytics poll of 1000 teens ages 13-19, sponsored by Thinx and PERIOD, are here. Some of the salient findings: Two-thirds of teens have felt stress due to lack of access to period products. … Continue reading

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Period Poverty in the U.S.

Amarica Rafanelli  at Direct Relief hosted a podcast on the topic here. Here’s a summary of the program, which features Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of Period Equity: Pads and tampons are a simple necessity, yet women across America are going without them. … Continue reading

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Op Ed on Discriminatory #TamponTax

Erwin Chemerinsky (UC Berkeley) and Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (Period Equity) have published an op-ed in the LA Times, Taxing Tampons Isn’t Just Unfair, It’s Unconstitutional. Here is an excerpt:   In the United States, where sales taxes are levied by each … Continue reading

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#Tampon #Tax Back in Tanzania

From Agence France Presse: A decision by Tanzania’s government to reintroduce a tax on sanitary pads and tampons has angered women in the country, with one activist on Sunday saying it would have “heavy consequences” for women.   Taxes on … Continue reading

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Ways Around the Tampon Tax – German Style

Via The Lily News.

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Who is Getting Rich? Not Minimum-Wage Workers

Over at Forbes, contributor Erik Sherman has a data-filled article here that begins with an eye-popping statistic: the federal minimum wage has not increased in almost 10 years.  That’s a record (and not a good one, in my view). After … Continue reading

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@PittLaw Tax Review Hosts Print Symposium

U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions The Pittsburgh Tax Review has published a print symposium/series of essays reviewing or inspired by U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions (Cambridge 2017). Here’s the table of contents with links to the contributions: The … Continue reading

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Are “CupAware” Events the New Tupperware Parties? Women’s Bodies as a Source of Corporate Profit

I read with interest ‘We’re Having a Menstrual Liberation’: How Periods Got Woke, published in The Guardian (U.K.). It’s a clunky and awkward title that obscures the contents of the article.   I am sitting in a hotel meeting room with … Continue reading

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Formal Equality on (Literal) Paper: Why Does the Man’s Name Go First on German Tax Returns?

The German publication Zeit Online recently published an article (here) critiquing a variety of gender disparities in German law. One that caught my eye was this discussion of the literal design of German tax forms: Frauen werden in Familienbüchern und … Continue reading

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NPR’s @PlanetMoney Podcast on the #TamponTax

On March 6, 2019, NPR’s Planet Money had a show Tampons: That Bloody Sales Tax that included an interview with attorney Zoe Salzman, talking about her work that contributed to New York’s repeal of the sales tax on menstrual hygiene … Continue reading

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State Legislature Watch: #Tampon Tax Repeal Bills Live in 13 States

In upcoming legislative sessions, state legislatures in these 13 states are poised to consider bills to repeal the sales tax on menstrual hygiene products: Arizona California Georgia Kentucky Maine Michigan Nebraska Ohio Tennessee Texas Virginia Washington West Virginia States that … Continue reading

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An Ode to the Marketplace, in a “Go Girl” Friendly Wrapper

I am a tax lawyer.  I spend much of my academic time thinking about wealth and its opposites.  I read Forbes.  I read the Forbes 100 list. In short: I’m inclined to be curious about articles that cover the marketplace, broadly … Continue reading

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