We here at Droplet Health want to give a shout out to New York, and specifically to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul for her leadership in regarding the availability of menstrual products for women in her state.
As part of the 2018 Women’s Agenda for New York, Lt. Gov. Hochul is advocating for free menstrual products in public schools for grades 6-12. It would be easy to think of this issue as inconsequential, but the impact is real. Girls report skipping school and sports due to lack of access to products, or using less than sanitary products like paper bags or socks.
This humane and progressive stance has wide popular support, but it is no surprise that those in government sometimes would rather ignore menstrual issues. When a bill to discuss the allocation of menstrual products to prisoners in the state of Arizona one legislator said “I’m almost sorry I heard the bill,” one legislator said, expressing his disgust at heaving to hear talk of “pads and tampons and the problems of periods.”
Luckily, with New York leading the way there have been a series of recent wins for menstrual equity.
- 2016 Gov. Andrew Cuomo scraps the Tampon Tax
- 2016 New York City provides menstrual products to students
- 2017 the Department of Justice directs prisons to provide menstrual products to prisoners free of charge
- 2018 ?? – Will all students in New York have access to menstrual products? Maybe FSA accounts will allow menstrual products? Employer mandates? Who knows?
These changes are positive for equality, treating the lives of women as equal to men rather than as exceptions.